Olympic Standard Tech

The Summer Olympic Games is only weeks away and already we’re seeing some really exciting tech being implemented.


Published by Hamish Kerry

The Paris 2024 Summer Olympics promises to be an extraordinary celebration of athletic prowess and human spirit, but behind the scenes, a silent hero is at work—technology. This year, the Olympics will showcase cutting-edge innovations that enhance not only the athletes' performances but also the spectators' experiences. From AI-driven talent identification to immersive fan engagement, technology is set to redefine the grandest sporting event on Earth.

Paris olympics posts
Via the International Olympic Committee

The Advent of AI in Olympic Excellence

Intel has partnered with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to bring artificial intelligence to the forefront of the Paris 2024 Olympics. Sarah Vickers, head of Intel's Olympic and Paralympic Games Office, is spearheading a team of over 100 staff dedicated to implementing Intel's AI strategy. This initiative marks a significant shift from past efforts like drone displays and VR training to a more integrated and impactful use of AI.

One of the most exciting applications of AI is in talent identification. In collaboration with Samsung, Intel has developed an AI-driven system that uses computer vision on smartphones and tablets to observe athletes' performances. This system analyses the data to determine each participant's aptitude for various Olympic sports. Initially piloted in Senegal, this innovative program assessed 1000 children to identify potential athletes for the Youth Olympic Games in 2026, showcasing the technology's versatility and accessibility.

AI-Powered Highlights: A New Era of Coverage

Traditionally, Olympic Broadcast Services (OBS) faced challenges in creating comprehensive highlight reels due to manual tagging and a limited workforce. Intel's AI technology is set to revolutionise this process by enabling auto-tagging and real-time highlight creation. This means even lesser-watched events, like Clay Pigeon Shooting, will receive broader coverage, ensuring that no significant moment goes unnoticed.

AI-driven highlights will not only enhance the viewing experience but also support smaller countries with limited broadcast resources. The ability to swiftly generate region-specific highlight reels will make the Olympics more inclusive and engaging for a global audience.

Immersive Fan Engagement

For the first time, fans can experience the Olympics in the metaverse. Through a virtual world created in collaboration with the Gangwon Organising Committee and the Gangwon Do Province, fans can explore venues, compete in winter sports mini-games, and interact with each other. This innovative digital concept is part of a broader strategy to engage new, younger audiences with the Olympics.

In addition to the metaverse, Intel is introducing AI-powered experiences at key venues like the Stade de France. These experiences will analyse participants' performance in athletic drills and match their profiles to specific Olympic disciplines. Such interactive and immersive technologies will deepen fans' connection to the games, bringing them closer to the action than ever before.

The Future of Broadcast: 8K Streaming:

Paris 2024 will also be the first edition of the Games to trial an AI-powered end-to-end 8K livestreaming system. Intel's deep learning algorithms will encode and compress live signals into an 8K HDR, 60-frames-per-second stream, delivering unparalleled visual quality with minimal latency. This advancement promises to set a new standard for future Olympic broadcasts.

OBS LiveCloud, powered by Intel's cloud technology, will become the main method of distributing live signals. This shift towards cloud-based broadcasting will reduce the need for on-site personnel, lower power consumption, and minimise the physical footprint of broadcast operations. These efficiencies are crucial for creating a more sustainable and environmentally friendly Olympic Games.

A Leap Towards Sustainability:

Sustainability is a core focus for Paris 2024, and technology plays a pivotal role in achieving this goal. The use of energy-efficient lighting, smart waste management systems, and green technologies is shaping an environmentally friendly Games. The International Broadcasting Centre (IBC) has seen significant reductions in space and power requirements compared to previous Olympics, thanks to innovations in broadcast technology.

Looking forward:

The Paris 2024 Olympics will be a testament to how technology can elevate the essence of sports. From AI-powered talent identification and immersive fan experiences to revolutionary broadcast innovations, Intel and its partners are set to transform the Olympic landscape. This year's games will not only celebrate athletic excellence but also showcase the incredible potential of technology to enhance our understanding and enjoyment of the world's greatest sporting event.

 

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