So far, the 2016 Rio Olympics can claim some of the best performances from U.S. athletes ever. And, while this year’s global sporting competition has had a few hiccups, for the most part, spectators on the scene and at home seem to be enjoying the events. One place where this year’s summer games really stand out, though, is in its technology. As an innovative tech company ourselves, we at ZPower are always interested in what’s happening on the cutting edge; therefore, we’ve been keeping tabs on the Rio Olympics’ technology. Here’s our list of what we think is some of the coolest and/or most useful and efficient tech coming out of this summer’s Olympic games.
Drone Week and Broadcasting Electrical Support Sponsored by GE
Back in June, GE drones spent an entire week buzzing above Rio’s beautiful landscape and Olympic stadiums gathering footage for a series of films that illustrate the company’s role in the games. GE is the company behind the Olympic venues’ intelligent lighting systems. It also provides electrical distribution from the Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam to the International Broadcast Center. The broadcast center is responsible for ensuring that Olympic coverage is transmitted, without interruption, to countries throughout the world. Watch the #DroneWeek film about this distribution here:
Payment Rings and Wrist Bands
No matter the event, simply being an Olympic athlete comes with its own set of practical hurdles. For instance, where do you put your money on competition day if you don’t have pockets? You want it to be safe, but you still want the option to make a purchase. Visa is testing out solutions to this simple conundrum with payment rings and wrist bands. Visa equipped 59 US athletes with the rings – we’ll be keeping an eye on this tech.
GPS Enhanced Rowing, More Accurate Targeting
As a way to provided added value and more detail to the sprint and rowing events, each canoe is outfitted with a GPS tracking device that records speed and distance. Meanwhile, classic events including archery and shooting also got a tech update. They now feature electronic and laser scoring systems that measure the target points with an accuracy down to the millimeter.
From sensor enhanced archery boards to digital lap counters in the swimming pools, to video replays, technology has played a bigger role than ever before in enhancing the Olympic experience for athletes and spectators alike. We’re looking forward to watching how this same technology will be employed during the Paralympic games coming up in September.