Olympic Winter Games Technological Innovations

There’s a certain beauty in the way that the Olympic Games removes boundaries, uniting people and countries in the spirit of healthy competition, if only for a few short weeks. At the 23rd Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang County, South Korea, technology has not just transformed the way the games are played; it’s unveiled new ways to enhance the way people experience them.

To start, the opening ceremony was a feast for the eyes, and a feat for technology. Intel synced up 1,218 mini drones to create a jaw-dropping spectacle of lights in figures and symbols inspired by the games. According to The Verge, this feat set the world record for “most unmanned aerial vehicles airborne simultaneously.” Phew!

CNNtech reported that these are the most high-tech Olympic Games in history, with 5G stations in the village for visitors to experience the games through tablets running at super-fast wireless speeds. This is a unique juxtaposition for Pyeongchang: the rural, impoverished and relatively unknown pocket of South Korea prior to the games has been thrust into the international spotlight as a place to showcase technological innovation.

To bring an immersive experience to viewers at home, Intel has introduced Intel® True VR.3. Users link up their virtual reality headsets with an app to experience events like speed skating, ice hockey and big air in a closer, more personal way. It’s a concept long-understood, but only recently put into practice for everyday viewers.

Toyota has brought an emotional touch to innovation throughout the games with its “Start Your Impossible” marketing campaign. The global initiative repositions Toyota as a “mobility company,” and highlights how its technologies are helping to create a more inclusive society in which people can “move freely” despite physical limitations or otherwise. The winter games are a thoughtful event in which to launch the campaign; inspiration comes often from stories of everyday people overcoming adversity to become champions.

The Olympic Games have always provided elite athletes the opportunity to demonstrate new and creative ways of achieving victory, it’s equally exciting to see the global event become a platform for showcasing technological innovations. Who knows what we’ll get to experience in summer 2020!

https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/11/17001418/2018-winter-olympics-pyeongchang-tech-updates-sports

http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/19/technology/pyeongchang-winter-olympics-5g-intel/index.html

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/sports/olympic-games/true-vr.html

https://www.citylab.com/life/2018/02/its-time-for-the-pop-up-olympics/552896/

http://toyotanews.pressroom.toyota.com/releases/toyota+start+your+impossible+global+campaign+reflects+olympic+paralympic+spirit+encouragement.htm

Rachael Doukas