The Olympics at Rio were a colourful display of the talents of elite athletes from all over the world. While we basked in the spirit, determination and strength, we also noticed how the Olympics 2016 was a prime venue for some amazing tech. This post is about the Tech innovations at the Olympic 2016.
Many wonderful gadgets and gears were seen this year in Rio that were as agile and as focused as the athletes. Some of them that caught our eye:
Nike has been designing aerodynamic outfits for athletes since the 2000 Olympic Games. This year, the company came up with an interesting solution to reduce the drag around runners – Spiky Tape. Called AeroBlades, they look like tiny nodes and spikes that act with the wind resistance, influencing the air around the runners. Arm and leg sleeves come covered in the spiky thing. Adhesive patches of the material were also seen.
These new tech will help athletes reach their goal even faster. To perfect the placement of the patches on the body, Nike tested them on mannequins placed inside wind tunnels.
Sprint for AeroBlades!
Hykso Punch Tracking Sensors
The Canadian Boxing Team won their last medal in the 1996 event. This year, however, they’ve practiced better, thanks to a wonderful piece of tech from Hykso called the Hykso Punch Tracking Sensors. The sensors are lightweight and are placed on the wrists and wound with tape. The sensor is connected to a smartphone app. It counts the number of punches, distinguishes between different types of punches delivered and accurately measures their velocity and intensity. Their coach now no longer needs to keep watch on the manual punch count.
The Hykso Punch Tracking Sensors help immensely by giving out lots of useful data that can be analyzed. The team is now strategically prepared for punching patterns.
This gadget takes tech innovations to the next level. It is now open for pre-order by the public.
Solos Augmented Reality Glasses
This is another tech innovation that won’t be present at the official event, but was used throughout training. The Solos Augmented Reality Glasses were used by the US Cycling Team to check their vital stats and boost their performance mid ride. The glasses also have a pair of speakers that delivers stats. It also displays the data over the road ahead.
Solos Augmented Reality Glasses were developed to be stylish, aerodynamic and comfortable. It connects to a mobile interface. This cool gadget had raised its goal of $50,000 in Kick-starter within 24 hours of introduction.
Omega Underwater Lap Counters
Since 1932, the watchmaker Omega has functioned as the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games (excluding three games). This year, the company has chosen an innovative tech to replace the humans that hold number cards at the edge of the pool.
Swimmers can easily get distracted and lose count of the laps they’ve completed. The new Omega Underwater Lap Counter will display the number of laps digitally. It’s intended for the athletes’ use. The numbers are counted as the swimmers touch a pad at the edge of the pool.
The swimmers now don’t have to raise their heads to look at the cards for the numbers. This lap counting gadget was used in the 800 m and 1500 m freestyle swimming events this year.
Visa Payment Rings and Bracelets
Visa has teamed up with the Brazilian Bank, Bradesco, to create wearables for easy payments in the Olympic 2016. The Visa Bracelets allow making purchases with a wave of hand over the sensor. Athletes were provided a ring version of the gadget.
The 4000 point-of-sale terminals in the Olympic Venue were enriched with Near Field Communication or NFC, to make this happen. NFC is the same tech that is used to power Google Pay and Apple Pay.
According to Visa, these wearables are water resistant up to 50 m and contain no battery. They don’t require recharging at all.
ImageSat International Satellite Security
Rio is being watched above earth owing to this mega sports celebration. The Eros-B Satellite, operated and owned by ImageSat International, Israel, is undertaking detailed inspections of the Paralympics and the Olympic games.
The satellite has been staying low orbit since 2006 taking High Resolution pictures of earth’s surface. This satellite previously was employed in maritime, military, urban and disaster monitoring. This innovative tech will identify trucks, cars and people and can retrace the steps of suspects during the event.
Samsung and NBC Virtual Reality
Samsung, NBC and the Olympic Broadcasting Services have joined together to stream 85 hours of the Olympic event in Virtual Reality. Anyone with a Samsung Gear VR Headset, Samsung Galaxy Smartphone and the NBC Sports App can access the content. The VR content is also broadcasted on TV for Samsung customers in US.
This innovative tech had first been tested in the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, this February. This is the first time VR is being a part of the Olympics.
Flextronics Illuminated Blazer
Polo Ralph Lauren worked with Flextronics to design a special blazer for Michael Phelps, the designated flag bearer and 22 times medal winner, to wear during the opening ceremony. The blazer has electro luminescent panels embedded in both the front and the back, which light up the USA and the US Olympic Team Logo on the Blazer with the flip of a switch hidden inside the pocket.
The flag bearer lead the Team USA with tech behind his back, literally.
Sigh. The fascination has ended! Back to normal life!
What’s your favorite sport in Olympic that should be made as a smartphone game?