The future of “The Internet of Olympic Games”

Forgive me for using this headline to attract more readers during the summer holidays. Certainly I will include a comment in my famous post The abuse of shocking headlines in IoT or how many stupid things will be connected ?. I encourage you to continue reading.

The Internet of Things in “Smart City Rio 2016“

I guess that many of you that are following Rio 2016 Olympic Games by TV, Internet or the lucky ones who are watching the Games in Rio, are listening and reading complaints from athletes, journalists, spectators and fans about this Games.

How is possible so many complaints on traffic jams in one of the most famous “Smart Cities?. I imagine citizens and visitors are not satisfied with the performance of the Rio Operations Center, known as COR, that allow local government continuously monitors the city from this center so that the agencies can act more quickly in different situations, such as unforeseen events in traffic or environmental disasters or increase the security of its streets and assure unpredictable weather conditions.

How IoT has not avoid complaints on green water in the sensorized swimming pool?

How the Organization have allowed about empty and noisy stadiums? Maybe is because of the newest technology that is changing how we watch the Olympics. In Rio 2016 Olympic Games, major broadcasters including NBC, the BBC, and Japan’s NHK will experiment with virtual reality, super high definition, and drone technology in Brazil as they attempt to engage audiences in new ways. Virtual reality, video reviews, GPS, underwater digital lap counters…. state-of-the-art technologies transforming the athlete and spectator experience.

We know that there are many sports that are prone to human error, but why do not use IoT technology in sports where the judges punctuate athletes subjectively and makes fans very disappointed with the scores?

During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, referees missed a high kick by British athlete Sarah Stevenson that should have won her the fight. She was later reinstated to the competition, but the incident showed that the Korean martial art could be prone to human error. To remedy this, during the 2009 World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships in Baku, combatants wore magnetic socks and body protectors containing electronic sensors. For the Rio 2016 Olympic Games competitors’ headgear will be hooked up, and they are able to request video replays. It takes less power to register on the head protector than the torso and athletes can focus on accuracy rather than force. With scoring weighted to reward roundhouses to the face, the fights should be fairer, more exciting and safer”.

Although there has been many technological innovations in Rio 2016 that have helped to remedy some situations, in my humble opinion the contribution of the IoT has not been relevant. I believe that athletes, citizens, tourists, fans and organization have barely used. I have doubts about the effectiveness of some of the IoT products and initiatives that have been implemented at the Rio 2016 Olympics.   .

Wearable tech startups are giving American athletes the edge and are powering Team US using wearables to golds galore in Rio. Is fair that wearables give additional advantages to countries like US?

It was a shame that SIGFOX and Brazilian Partner WND Announced Internet of Things Network Deployment Underway in Brazil a few months ago. Too late for the Olympic Games. Something will have helped, though, and despite efforts of Cisco as official supporter of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, it is obvious that Telcos need to work with Olympic Cities to build the infrastructure for offer an exciting experience to fans either local or virtual.

“Perhaps, we will not remember the Rio 2016 Olympics as the best Games ever, but as the first Olympics that would be truly connected and we will remember it as the Internet of Things Olympics”.

What I expect in Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

If the Rio 2016 Olympics have been the beginning of the use of Internet of Things in world class athletics, why not dream that many predictions about the Internet on Things will become true and will take the 2020 Tokyo Olympics games to another level?

As dreaming is free, lets dream how IoT technology, Wearables, Artificial Intelligence, Robots, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Analytics will evolve and will make 2020 Tokyo Olympics the best Games ever.

2020 Tokio Robot City

Every year or two, Japanese researchers roll out a new robotic invention. If you have read “Could we avoid psychopath and sociopath robots? you do not have to fear Robots, or maybe a little. How can you be afraid of Pepper ?.

In  Tokio 2020 local authorities should use Olympic robots to help athletes, visitors and citizen to live a new smart city experience.

I do not believe strikes will become a threat in Tokio 2020 , but better if local authorities use robots anti-strikes to avoid the temptation.

Robots will be a teaser to attract tourists to Tokio 2020. And for the Olympic Games it is key stadiums full of people all over the world.

One final remark, takes Smart City Security seriously and do not stop asking for security in IoT. If a system is not protected or robots are used as a vector attack, it could translate to huge problems and could have a big impact in citizens, athletes and visitors.

Connected Fans and Athletes sharing experience in Smart Sports

Tokio 2020 there should be a focus on connecting the “Olympic things that matter“ with a clear the objective: Improve the athletes and fans experience.

The followers of Tokio 2020 Games should be able to subscribe IoT Olympic Service Providers (IoT OSP) services that aggregate data from “Olympic things and Athletes clothing and wearables” and provide real time info and analytics. The IoT Olympic Service Providers could give fans added insight into live broadcasts and how hard an athlete is working during the preparation and during the games.

The Connected athletes will allow to their fans track them changing the way sports are watched, coached, analysed and played. Sensors implanted in players’ clothes and tracking technology will allow fans keep track of players to a precision of 5cm and will be able to detect and differentiate players in a pile.

The IoT Analytics vendors should leverage IoT Olympics analytics to simplify the sport for both athletes and spectators alike. With IoT Olympics analytics tools, it will be able to gather data from various sources during a race and store it in a IoT Cloud platform for in-depth analysis.

Tokio local authority should work to create a sustainable ecosystem between Telcos, TV Media and Virtual Reality vendors, and IoT Olympic Service Providers (IoT OSP) to guarantee QoS fo IoT Olympics services.

Cyber Athletes

In Rio 2016 Olympic Games, it has surprised me to see a crowd of athletes born in countries like Jamaica or Trinidad y Tobago compete for countries like Bahrain!.

It is not something new, the Olympics, besides the honour and recognition in Sports has a lot of social political game. Countries fight for the hegemony or excellent results in the Olympics to demonstrate its economic and politics weight in the World. As for the current athletes, it seems they do not care about the flag / country they represent, it seems that they want to compete and make money. So I think we’re way, and not only for the technology, to see in the next games Tokyo 2020 Games, the first release of Cyber Athletes.

Get ready to see Connected athletes in Tokyo 2020 wearing smart eyewear and many other implanted wearables and smart clothes. Athletes will continuously be monitored and they will be able to easily access real-time performance data from their smartphone or wearable sensors. They will be using predictive and preventive analytics for injury prevention and prediction of results. The athletes in Tokyo 2020 will test the sport value (improve performance) of VR, AR, machine learning and other technologies.

In Tokyo 2020, some IoT innovations will be pushing human performance to the limit. Sport science and technology will help athletes to optimise their physical output.

If in Rio 2016, some world records have been powdered, the first cyber athletes in Tokyo 2020 will reach many barriers that today looks unachievable. Be prepared to see may record will be broken.

And these are some companies that are contributing to create BETTER, FASTER, STRONGER athletes.

Cyber Olympic Judges

We tend to think that technology helps make the sport more just when we are victims or witnessed of unjust decision. That´s why we approve inventions like Paul Hawkins – creator of Hawk-Eye, a technology that is now an integral part of the spectator experience when watching sport live.

We need sensors and technology to help Olympic Judges (still early to accept a Robot Olympic Judge).

Olympic judges could wear smart glasses with AR applications, able to watch in real time multiple cameras, with aggregated info from athlete sensors to make their decisions more accurate and objective.

We as spectators need more real time and transparency about the exercises difficulty, degree of compliance and final score. And we have the technology to do it.

“The IoT technology doesn’t claim to be infallible – just very, very reliable and Olympic Judges also need to be adapted to new technologies”

Key Takeaways

“We have lived in Rio 2016 the first Internet of Things Olympics, but the Internet of Things could take the 2020 Tokyo Olympics games to another level”.

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