Olympics to get a little more high-tech in Beijing
The 2022 Beijing Olympics is set to be the most technologically-advanced Winter Games yet, with official timekeeper Omega announcing a number of new high-tech systems last week.
In figure skating, Omega is introducing a network of motion sensors and cameras installed around the ice to offer detailed analysis of the height, distance and complexity of jumps. This system will allow skaters and their teams to analyze their own routines in a more sophisticated way, as well as providing more interesting insight to fans.
In a sport as visually complex as figure skating, where jumps are done at such high speeds and with such complicated movements, it can often be difficult for the lay viewer to fully understand what is going on. The new sensor system is expected to make those details easier to understand.
In speed skating, a new false start monitoring system will help referees by using an image tracking system to monitor the exact moment that skaters start moving. This will not only help police false starts, but will also take the pressure off the referees, who have had to rely on their own eyes to catch the slightest movement.
This system will use a camera with movement sensors set up at the edge of each lane. The feed from the cameras will be monitored by officials.
In ice hockey, Omega has gone back to its routes and redesigned the clock. Transparent LED clocks will be mounted on the side of the rink between the two penalty boxes, allowing players to check both the game time and penalty time far more easily and conveniently.
The introduction of the women's monobob to the Olympics also provides an opportunity for some technological innovation. For the monobob, in which a single athlete pushes, steers and controls the breaks on a one-person bobsleigh, sensors have been mounted inside the sleigh with antennas positioned along the track to record the speed, g-force and angular velocity of the sleigh for the analysis of the team and viewers. A similar system is already used in bobsleigh events.
The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics is set to run from Feb. 4. through Feb. 20, although some events will begin on Feb. 2.
BY JIM BULLEY [firstname.lastname@example.org]