As well as being a showcase of the world’s athletic elite, we’ve discovered that the Rio Olympics 2016 is also sporting some of the latest in digital and tech innovation, with a massive increase in mobile usage predicated too.

Digital Innovation: Olympic Games Rio 2016

From data tracking devices to virtual reality, the Olympics 2016 has gone full gadget in athletic gear for use in preparation, and during the event, with plenty to keep spectators happy also as this is set to be the most digital games yet.

Being a digital product company who experiment with up and coming digital innovation and tech, what the event is bringing holds notable insight for us as a company, as well as scope for our clients and future projects.

Virtual reality, data, and real-time

British athletes have been assisted in their training prior to Rio 2016 Olympics by defence, security, and aerospace experts BAE Systems who created a 360 degree simulator called the VR-Vantage project. The digital headsets are being used to show the athletes 3D videos of course layouts made by correlators and trainers which interestingly employs simulation techniques used to develop advanced military technology.

In addition to this, data is proving essential in training with GB’s boxers using a system called iBoxer that counts punches per round per minute. In using real-time analytics the system also captures ‘cumulative punches’ and ‘time between punches’, created as a bespoke product for the GB boxing team.

Track cyclists for the US team have also been using real-time feedback systems in wearing Solos augmented-reality glasses. The ‘first and only’ augmented reality cycling headset shows stats collected from sensors, including a cyclists pedal rate, and heart rate. We’ve worked with sensors, and the innovation potential particularly for digital healthcare, fitness, and sport, is big.

Mobile and the second screen

The 2012 Olympics was considered the first ‘social media’ Olympics with heightened posting to Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook as smartphone use increased leading to 60% of website visits coming from mobile devices.

Now though, mobile is making even more of an impact at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 where the ‘second screen’ is set to dominate in the use of smartphone and tablets while viewing the games.

The Rio 2016 organising committee have said that 85% of the predicted 3.6billion viewers are expected to use their mobile devices or ‘second screens’ to check apps, stream coverage, also looking for stats on athletes and events with 800,000 downloads made already of the Rio 2016 official app.

The Olympics in Rio is positioned as the first multi-platform Olympics thanks to the surge in usage of mobile devices. With multiple screens being used the importance of digital innovation has increased to build engaging strategies for users. US TV broadcasting company NBC is expected to exceed $1billion in advertising sales across its platforms during the games thanks to the increased usage of mobile.

Olympic Games Rio 2016

For the first time viewers can step inside all 37 arenas thanks to the Rio Olympics 2016 partnership with Google Street View which can be done by opening google maps on mobile or desktop and searching for what you want to see, from the BMX track to the Aquatic Centre where Tom Peaty won his gold for Team GB!

It’s the most digital and technology orientated Olympic games that there’s ever been, and is also considered an indication for more to come. The BBC have 360° coverage on BBC Sport and on-demand which is also being trialled on apps for Android, iOS, and Samsung Gear VR.

It’s amazing to think already what Tokyo 2020 will have in store based on the advances at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. As tech evolves further Tokyo is predicted to have 8K Super Hi-Vision, virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence heavily involved in the digital suite.

Roll on the exciting times at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 - come on Team GB!

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