Beijing 2022 features all sorts of technology implementations. (Image Credit: Christian Lue/Unsplash)
This year’s winter games has been a lot of fun to watch. On the surface, there doesn’t seem much different happening behind the scenes compared to the past. But, let’s look closer.
The opening ceremony had a unique show for its viewers: the Olympic rings appeared from a 3D cube in the shape of an ice block. This technology-led artistic effect took 43 seconds to complete, which involved 700 days of work by 200 scientific personnel. Once the cube hit the stage, laser beams carved out past Winter Olympics host city names. Afterward, special visual effects were implemented to make it look like the ice melted until the Olympic Rings slowly surfaced.
The opening ceremony also featured a spectacular snowflake display, demonstrated during the Parade of Nations and Snowflakes' performance as an LED effect. It was even used as a cauldron shape. The entire performance was achieved through real-time motion capture and rendering, which involves AI-based image recognition and tracking. This is the first time that such technology was deployed in an arena exceeding 10,000 square meters with approximately 600 performers.
Varying robots are currently deployed in the Olympic Village, helping enforce COVID-19 social distancing rules. These machines restrict human-to-human contact by delivering equipment, cooking and transporting food, and sanitizing surfaces. The media area canteen has 120 robots readily available to serve food.
In addition, robots are helping athletes seek medical assistance, providing hand sanitizer, and collecting garbage. Other machines, called roving robots, can detect COVID-19 particles and decontaminate rooms. Event venue and hotel guests are greeted by robots delivering amenities.
Athletes' apartments feature a memory foam smart bed fitted with sensors designed to monitor their heart rate and breathing patterns. The beds record the athlete's body signature and transmit that data back to their coaches if changes occur. Athletes can also adjust the bed through its controls to suit their preferred sleeping position. Users can take advantage of the "zero gravity" setting, which reduces pressure on muscles and joints, ensuring a better sleep experience.
These beds are very different compared to the ones used during the 2020 Tokyo games. That's because the ones in Japan were designed with cardboard material to help the environment.
(Image Credit: torstensimon/pixabay)
Beijing 2022 features 5G all over the place in the Olympic bubble. It essentially powers everything from driverless minibusses to a high-speed rail that travels from Beijing to the Olympic Village. The train contains an HD CCTV broadcasting studio and stable internet access. 5G also boosts the internet speed for visiting athletes, who can access social media sites that China normally blocks. However, the U.S. Olympic organizing committee warned that online activity could be monitored.
Of course, this isn't the first time we're seeing 5G at the Winter Olympics. KT, the South Korean carrier, said that the Pyeongchang 2018 games would have the first 5G service. This was limited at the time because the first 5G handsets weren't available for purchase until the next year.
China is testing out its digital currency with foreigners at the Olympics. In this case, anyone can pay for transportation, food, and other goods and services with digital yuan. The currency can be obtained through a digital yuan card, an app, or exchanging foreign currency into digital through machines in Olympic areas.
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