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Olympics of the Future: Technology Will Make Everyone's Lives Easier

The 2020 Olympics and the games beyond that won't disappoint when it comes to technology.

The 2020 Toyko Olympics is a mere months away, which means technology will be front and center as Olympic partners Intel, Visa, Dow, and others show off their cutting edge technology. 

The advances aren’t expected to disappoint as digital payments, artificial intelligence and drones are unleashed on the Tokyo Olympics. Looking out to 2028 when Los Angeles will be the host city, things will be even more futuristic.

“We don’t have to build anything and have an unprecedented amount of time,” said Kathy Carter chief revenue officer at LA28 during a panel discussion on the future of the Olympics at  CES. “We may not corner the market on good ideas but we have the ability to execute those ideas.”

Life will be a lot easier for everyone in 2028

While it’s hard to predict what technologies will come to pass in eight years, Carter said it will be focused on making life easier for everyone involved.

Take the more than 14,000 athletes that will gather in LA for two weeks in 2028. A big pain point for them is losing the key to their room. That won’t be a problem in 2028 since keyless entry will be implemented. The same goes for fans getting lost as they navigate the games in the sprawling city or athletes worrying about family getting tickets to their events. Tech will exist to make the experience seamless.  “Simple things like that are hard to execute but we have the time,” she said. 

Helping athletes succeed 

Indeed Rick Echevarria, general manager of Intel's Olympic Program, while being tight-lipped about what the company has in store for Tokyo, said Intel is focused on the fan experience whether they are viewing the games in real-time or watching them on a computer, mobile device or TV.

At the same time, Intel is working on improving the experience of the athlete, pointing to its announcement during CES in which it unveiled 3D athlete tracking using AI and computer vision.

Intel partnered with Alibaba, the Chinese eCommerce giant to roll out athlete tracking technology that will be used during the Olympic Games in 2020 and beyond.

Combing Intel tech and Alibaba cloud computing technology the application creates 3D forms of athletes in training.  The technology can analyze videos of athletes in a way that should improve their training process and enhance performance. 

Intel 3D tracking tech
Intel's 3D athlete tracking. Source: Intel 

Legacy is just as important 

Equally important to bringing advanced technology to the Olympics in the years to come is to ensure the Olympic partners leave a positive legacy in their wake. Too many tales of huge amounts of waste or abandoned sports arenas built solely for the Olympics have followed the games.

That’s why the partners of today are focused on making sure they leave behind enhancements and technology that improve the people of the city’s lives. 

“Putting on the games is only one part,” said Carter, noting the objective is also to “make it better for future generations.”

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