Rio 2016: Changing The Games With Technology

In just two days, the 2016 Rio Olympics will begin. Since the London 2012 Games, technology has continued to transform at a staggering pace. At Rio 2016, Olympic sports will harness some of these innovations to enhance the performance of competitors and make the spectator experience more exciting than ever before.

It’s predicted that the use of technology during the Rio Olympic Games will set a precedent for the way future generations will consume sport and entertainment. We take a look at some of the innovations introduced this year:

Virtual Reality

Viewers with a compatible virtual reality (VR) headset, will be able to join the likes of Usain Bolt and Jessica Ennis-Hill as they take on their competition. VR footage will also be available as on-demand content to those without a headset. Although VR technology will be limited to selected events, it does represent a defining moment for how people might view sport and entertainment in the future.

Event Tracking

The majority of events will be tracked in some form by various technologies, giving athletes and teams an insight into their own and their competitor’s statistics. For swimming events, underwater lap counters have been installed in pools which automatically update lap counts as the swimmers hit the touch pad.

In the canoe sprint and rowing events, GPS technology will be used to help fans follow the races in more detail than ever before, with key data such as speed and direction being tracked and displayed in real time.


New technology in the Olympics isn’t just limited to the events, but also to make it easier for visitors to make easier purchases whilst at the venues. Visa, in partnership with Brazilian bank Bradesco, has launched an innovative bracelet that visitors can use in the same way as a contactless payment card. Athletes sponsored by Visa will be given a wearable, waterproof ring which they can use in the same way.

Technology Operations Centre

The TOC is the control and command centre for technology that supervises all Olympic venues. This is where the IT systems that support the running of the Games is monitored and where results will be delivered to the worlds media in real time from all Olympic and Paralympic competitions.

The opening ceremony for the 2016 Olympics will take place in Rio de Janeiro on Friday, August 5 and it’s unlikely we’ll be disappointed with the spectacular Rio promises, channeling the true spirit of passion, fun and excitement that the Latin American region is known for.

Have the innovations in the Rio Olympics inspired you to enter the exciting IT industry? If so, Get In Touch with Wolf Group today.

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