Trivia Quiz: How many iPads and tablets were at the 2010 Olympics?
None! Hard to believe that the modern touchscreen tablet revolution started on April 3rd 2010 – just under 4 years ago and after Vancouver. As the main integrators for the Olympics, we have a stable 4 year cycle – right as Sochi ends this year after the Paralympics Games, the first Atos people will arrive in PyeongChang just like right after London people went to Rio. As the IT integrator of the games, we are always making sure we never put the games at risk, but our 4 year cycle still has a lot of flexibility built in for making just as sure there is still a lot of innovation. For example the number of tablet devices expecting real-time information has had a significant impact on how we improved the CIS and IDS for the Olympic Games (Commentator Information System and Information Diffusion System – you can tell our marketing department had nothing to do with the naming).
And since real-time analytics is the next wave on the IT horizon, I can’t wait to see how that will be changing the day-to-day we are helping put into place for the Olympics in Rio. I’m sure we have a lot of people working on things like how to use analytics at the Olympic site to move volunteers on the fly to decrease the wait in unexpectedly long lines, or to immediately ramp-up new IT capacity to serve traffic sparked by the latest Gold wonder (I’d love to see how much traffic was generated by all the fans in the Netherlands after they started sweeping up all the speed skating medals).
But what I really want is real-time visualization into the video feed - everything that happens when people fly through the air – things like snowboard halfpipe, vaulting and floor gymnastics, springboard diving. It’s amazing how much physics is in there, and the more you know about it, the more impressive it is. I’d love to be able to watch the instant replay already with overlays of speed, angular momentum, and inertia based on the course, athlete’s weight, ramp angle, height etc. For bonus points, I’d be able to use my tablet to compare any two athletic performances frame by frame. Maybe Rio is a bit too early for real-time 3-D video modeling of advanced physics (although I’m sure coaches would love to see it as much as I would, especially when they aren’t allowed to wire up the athletes during events), but the Olympics always gives everyone inspiration to do things a little faster…