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London 2012: Trying to Win the “Social Games”
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The 2012 Olympics in London are set to be the “most connected games possible”, and are even being dubbed the ‘Social Games’. As we follow the events here in the studio, we are finding this focus on technology interesting, as it gives viewers and athletes a new perspective into the games. In light of this, we thought we would mention the key ways that London 2012 is trying to win the ‘Social Games’.

The London 2012 Olympics started last Friday
The London 2012 Olympics started last Friday

Mobile & Social

Apps for Updates

There are multiple apps out there that viewers can use to check up on events, news and results, as well as to live-stream the games. These can be found for iOS, Android and Blackberry and include the Official London 2012 Apps called Join In and Results, NBC’s Olympics and Olympics Live Extra, as well as BBC’s Olympics Application.

Apps for Athletes

Stroke Coach
Not only are there apps for viewers of the games, some of the athletes in this year’s games have also been using them to train. Athletes use apps for camera and mobile software to replay training sessions and more, including Team GB’s rowers use of Stroke-Coach to monitor training times and the Indian National Hockey Team’s use of iPlayBook Field Hockey for drawing up plays.

Social Media

The London 2012 organizers have made dedicated accounts for the Olympics this year on Twitter, Facebook (a portal and page) and YouTube. The accounts connect viewers to the games, and also to the athletes. Athletes have to be careful though, as there are strict tweeting rules and some posts on these sites can get them kicked out of the games.

Photo & Video Collection

With the abundance of mobile phones and cameras, this year is expected to generate a record breaking amount of media. Throughout the Olympics, it is expected that 466 million photos and 334 years worth of video will be captured, with a multimedia data generation rate of six gigabytes/second.

Other Tech

Mobile Payment Technology

If you are lucky enough to see the games in person, there is a new technology being used at the games for purchases made at select venues. Visa PayWave is being introduced at this year’s Olympics, and if you own a Samsung Galaxy S III and have the app installed you can make contactless payments. The technology isn’t perfect though, it stopped functioning early this week resulting in long lines and cash only payments.

3D Video

This is the first year that the Olympics will be covered in 3D, available to about 80% of U.S. TV households. Although the programming will be on a next-day delay, it will include the opening/closing ceremonies, men’s and women’s gymnastics, diving and swimming, cycling, and track and field. Also in 3D are views of the Olympic venues, using 360 degree cameras and a 3D interactive link.

Green Technology

PayWaveSomething that is also new at this year’s Olympics is the organizer’s focus on renewable energy and sustainability. Nearly 11 percent of the event’s energy is from renewable sources, and it’s processes for energy, food and waste are all as sustainable as possible. In fact, all food and drinks are locally sourced with all items either biodegradable or compostable.

These are only a few of the new technology initiatives being implemented at this year’s London Olympic games. Although some have been experiencing difficulties and lash back (such as Twitter and PayWave), overall we think it is a great direction for the games to be moving in. After all, it is 2012!

Do you think that London 2012 is doing well in their goal to make this year the ‘Social Games’?