IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Rio 2016: A tech guide to the Olympics

We look at the tech powering the games and helping those in Rio and further afield watch all the action

New viewing experiences

Virtual reality is one of the latest tech trends to dominate the world, and it's making headlines at the Olympics in Rio. With VR being increasingly entering the mainstream, the event's organisers wanted to capitalise on the potential for spectators right around the world.

For the first time, the Olympics Broadcasting Services - which is responsible for getting the games in front of millions of watchers around the world - is broadcasting high-definition imagery of the opening and closing ceremonies. This also includes one event a day.

Leading up to the event, Korean tech giant Samsung released a 360-degree VR film called Vanuatu Dreams. Experienced using the firm's VR glasses, the video lasts for three minutes and follows the journey of two volleyball players from the island of Vanuatu, located in the Pacific, competing to qualify for the Olympic Games.

Samsung has also opened a "Galaxy Studio" in Rio to help fans embrace the games with VR and mobile technology. Irish gymnast Kieran Behan paid it a visit recently. Talking about his experience, he said: "The technology here in the Samsung Galaxy Studio is absolutely amazing.The VR is super cool I really felt like I was kayaking. And I'm really excited about my Galaxy S7 edge Olympic Games Limited Edition. It truly is a collector's item."

Delighting viewers

Watching the games couldn't be easier. With coverage running around the clock on all the main TV channels and stations, you can also watch the games through online streaming. The BBC will be showing 3,000 hours of coverage spanning the 17 days. If you head to the BBC Sport website, you can access live blogs and live streams of the key games.

Cisco has provided a range of network and server equipment to support the broadcasting of the games. The infrastructure, which is currently being used at 26 venues,  includes IP routers, mobile broadband and data management systems.

"With a pervasive and highly secure IP network, they can better scale video transport in the production environment to deliver all types of content, including more HD to the tens of millions of people watching on different types of devices," said Dave Ward, CTO of engineering at Cisco.

Image credit: IOC (https://www.flickr.com/photos/iocmedia/28836105471/)

There are other ways to get the most out of the Olympics, too. Mobile, just like streaming and VR, has an important role to play for those wanting a piece of the action. The Rio 2016 app, for example, offers users up-to-date information on the games, schedules, results, medals, athletes, teams, venues and maps. It's designed for everyone interested in the event, not just those who are actually there in Rio.

For fans following the games globally, the app is updated constantly with results and real-time medal tables. It also plays home to coverage and photos from the competitions and events taking place across the city.

Turn to the next page to see how the tech behind the games has evolved over the years 

Featured Resources

Four strategies for building a hybrid workplace that works

All indications are that the future of work is hybrid, if it's not here already

Free webinar

The digital marketer’s guide to contextual insights and trends

How to use contextual intelligence to uncover new insights and inform strategies

Free Download

Ransomware and Microsoft 365 for business

What you need to know about reducing ransomware risk

Free Download

Building a modern strategy for analytics and machine learning success

Turning into business value

Free Download

Recommended

Netsuite integration checklist
Whitepaper

Netsuite integration checklist

18 May 2022
What Is iPaaS?
Whitepaper

What Is iPaaS?

18 May 2022
What does a CISO do?
Careers & training

What does a CISO do?

12 May 2022
A modern digital workplace strategy
Whitepaper

A modern digital workplace strategy

12 May 2022

Most Popular

Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack
hacking

Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack

16 May 2022
Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies
Server & storage

Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies

12 May 2022
Microsoft to double salary budget to retain workers
Careers & training

Microsoft to double salary budget to retain workers

17 May 2022