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In just a few weeks, the Olympic Games will be underway in one of the most flamboyant cities on Earth. Rio will not only put its stamp on the summer Olympics with flamboyancy but also with innovation. Virtual reality, underwater digital lap counters, video reviews, and a vast range of new inventions will change the way we experience watching sport in this digital age.

Indeed, just as we have seen new technology revolutionizing real estate, the same thing is happening in sport. Digital innovation is changing the world! Rio Olympics is set to showcase some of the most modern and technological advances ever seen in sport.

Virtual reality

One form of innovation which has been changing the world in many ways recently is virtual reality, VR. In the real estate industry, we have seen how virtual reality is beginning to make waves and transform the experience of searching for a new home. The same movement is going on in the world of sport. The 2016 Olympics is the first Olympics that will make use of VR technology to broadcast not only the opening and closing ceremonies but also some of the sporting events taking place. Each day, one event will be transmitted to audiences using VR. All you need is the right gear and a pair of VR glasses!

Contactless payment with wearables

Those involved in the Rio Games who will be making payments at the Olympic venues will be encouraged to use contactless payment, often achieved through using “wearables”. Among these are specially designed bracelets which aim to make payments more efficient. Visa’s sponsorship and Near Field Communications (NFC) technology make this possible.


This year, volleyball will make use of video reviews when a referee’s call is questioned. Arguments will be avoided using advanced playback technology. A second referee will then look at the television footage of the precise moment in the game in order to verify any points which are challenged. Replays will be shown on the big screen in the arena while the second referee reviews the challenge, adding to the event’s suspense.


In Rio’s Olympic swimming pools, automatic lap counters (produced by Omega) will allow swimmers to focus on their speed and their performance rather than needing to count laps. With better playback than ever before, and digital software on hand, the swimming will be up to the swimmers, but the technology will handle the rest. Every time the swimmers turn, they will be able to look at their lap count, reducing the mental power they need to count themselves, and allowing them to be completely in the zone and ready to do their best.

Canoeing and Rowing

Sports such as canoeing and rowing will use GPS technology to a greater extent than has ever been seen before. Spectators will have instant access to race data such as their team’s speed, direction, and how well they are doing in contrast to the opposition. This makes the sport even more exciting to watch and to understand.


In shooting, laser technology will replace acoustic technology for the first time. Thanks to electronic scoring systems and very precise laser technology, the score can be calculated to the millimeter. In addition to this, technology is being used in shooting for safety measures; (RFID) tags (using radio frequency technology) will allow the Games’ organizers to monitor the exact whereabouts of each and every weapon at any given moment.


When it comes to weightlifting, it will now be possible to see the weightlifter’s performance from almost every angle thanks to the use of a “camera dolly”. Spectators will be able to see the weightlifters’ every move thanks to this technology, and once again, this makes the experience of watching this event much more interesting and entertaining.

Why is there such a focus on using technology in Rio 2016?

The new tech that will be used in this Olympics aims to make the competitions both fairer and safer, while also enhancing the experience of visitors and spectators. Another reason for the greater use of modern technology is to minimize the carbon footprint of the Games. Many operations in Rio will be achieved with the help of a secure cloud. Fewer servers will, therefore, be needed, and this contributes to the Games’ goal of having a much-reduced impact on the environment compared to previous Olympic Games.

What will the Olympics of the future look like?

These days, people can access more and more through Virtual Reality. Browsing homes on real estate websites is just one example. One day, people might be able to experience the breath-taking events of the Summer Games via virtual reality. We can’t wait to see what will happen in Rio 2016 and in the Olympic Games of the future. You can be sure that the Games will get even more high tech as the years roll on.

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