The Tech Behind Tokyo: How Technology is Powering the 2021 Summer Olympics

white and blue round metal ornament on green grass field

After a delay from the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games officially kick off on July 23, 2021. While there are still plenty of restrictions in place to ensure health and safety to everyone involved, technology is helping athletes, organizers, and media officials continue the celebrations as representatives from countries around the world compete for the gold! Through a worldwide partnership with Intel, the Olympic Games are set to deliver innovative technology experiences that not only provide athletes and staff with the tools that they need to succeed, but also deliver an immersive experience to fans following along around the world. From transportation to news coverage, here are some of the ways that technology is saving the day during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. 

Empowering Audiences and Athletes with VR

Virtual reality is playing a larger role than ever before in this year's Olympic games. By leveraging immersive VR tech, trainers are able to create a deeper training experience for athletes with lower cost and higher efficiency. The VR experience gets even more exciting for viewers around the world. After delivering the world's first live VR Olympics broadcast in 2018, Intel True VR will power a "more immersive experience in Tokyo, allowing [fans] to deeply engage in the sports they love." From the Opening and Closing ceremonies to popular sports like gymnastics, boxing, and beach volleyball, fans will be able to tune in and get the front-row experience from the comfort of their homes. 

3D Athlete Tracking (3DAT)

woman running competitionWhen it comes to Olympic sports, performance is one of the most important elements that sets winners apart from the competition. Through the power of AI, this year's presentation will deliver real-time insights into the performance of each competitor. Athlete movements and speeds are tracked through a partnership between 3DAT and Olympic Broadcasting Services, tapping into the data delivered by four mobile cameras that track motion, apply algorithms for accurate performance estimates, and deliver that data in real-time to overlay visualizations that instantly deliver statistics to viewers around the world. 

Facial Scanning

Even with COVID-19 restrictions impacting attendees, thousands of staff, athletes, and officials flocking to Tokyo for the Games creates a large security risk if not properly handled. NEC facial recognition technology is set to deliver large-scale tracking to monitor every person going in and coming out of a venue. From athletes and volunteers to media representatives and event staff, facial recognition technology delivers deep security insights that help keep government officials, athletes, and attendees safe. 

Video Interviews

group of men standing in podium holding flowersNo matter where or when the Olympic Games are held, media interviews with outlets from around the world give fans insights into each event and its athletes, showcasing their immediate reactions and hearing what these record-breakers have to say about their incredible achievements. With COVID-19 and its Delta variant in the mix, media outlets have turned to virtual interviews to learn more about the athletes and deliver insights from the games to viewers around the world. 

Intel, in partnership with Cisco, is delivering reliable network coverage that not only supports the Olympic Games' operations, but keeps athletes, fans, and media officials connected throughout the duration of the event. By providing reliable coverage and resilient cybersecurity measures, Intel and Cisco are coming together to deliver technology solutions that are set to take home the gold. 

Whether you're an Olympic athlete, an official, or a viewer following along at home, the International Olympic Committee has taken major strides to make the most of today's top technology to enhance the experience for everyone involved. As you're watching along in the weeks and rooting for the home team, it's worth taking time to consider the incredible technology from industry leaders that is powering the experience from the various arenas in Tokyo to living rooms around the world. 

For more insights on how technology is empowering today's top events and businesses, subscribe to SeedSpark's weekly 5-Second Tech Tips newsletter! We're always tuned into the world of business technology and cybersecurity to keep you in the loop on everything you need to know in the world of IT and cybersecurity. 

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Written by Samuel Adams

As a lifelong fan of technology, Sam has always had a deep interest in learning about the latest innovations and how they are revolutionizing the worlds of business, marketing, and entertainment. As Social Media and Content Specialist at SeedSpark, he spends time chasing the newest trends and breakthroughs pushing the digital transformation in our personal and professional lives.

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