Technology in the 2016 Rio Olympics

Logo for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016
The 2016 Rio Olympics are just around the corner and for us sports-crazed fans, it will be a great time to get our geek on! The times have changed since we had to stay up all night waiting for our favorite sport to come on network TV. In addition to the constant streaming of information to which we’ll have access, I wondered what other new technological advances these games would premiere. Here are a few that I found interesting.

The Cloud

The Rio Games will be the first Summer Games that will use the cloud for key applications, including the volunteer portal and accreditation system. As part of the transformation, there is a new delivery model. A paradigm shift from a “build each time” to a “build once” model delivers some critical services over the cloud that creates significant efficiencies and operating flexibilities.

Virtual Reality

The use of virtual reality (VR) during the 2016 Rio Olympics will set a precedent for the way future generations consume sports and entertainment. Viewers with a compatible virtual reality headset will be able to watch select events live in VR, while VR footage will also be available as on-demand content to those without a headset. It will be a defining moment for how people can watch sports in the future.


Snapchat is going to become the first outlet to share videos of the Olympics by streaming content at the Rio Games. BuzzFeed is already promoted on Snapchat Discover and will be showing Snapchat’s Olympics content. Those at the Olympics will also be able to send original videos to Snapchat’s own Olympics story, which will publicly display some of those videos for 24 hours.

4K Ultra HD Coverage

4K Ultra HD Coverage will include cable, satellite, telco providers and other partners. The Olympics will give the American audience a spectacular early look at this impressive new technology. 4K Ultra HD technology displays images at over eight million pixels (3840×2160), providing pictures with an ultra-high resolution that is roughly four times that of current high definition (1920×1080 pixels). Coverage will also include high-dynamic-range (HDR) imaging, which produces a wider and richer range of colors, and Dolby Atmos®, a new sound technology that allows for a more immersive audio experience.

Wearable Technology

Wearable technology will be in full use to help track athletes’ training progress.


One sport taking advantage of new high-tech gear is boxing. Boxers can now track the number of punches they throw per day and the maximum speed achieved.


Olympic marathoners are using patches to focus on what is going on in their bodies. The patches collect sweat that can be analyzed to determine electrolyte levels. They are also monitoring their core temperatures by ingesting a pill that can read and measure these levels.


New technology has given transparency to taekwondo scoring: Head protectors will include electronic sensors for the first time in the sport’s history. This technology has placed precision over strength in the rules of the game, which has affected the strategy of the athletes and coaches.


The USA cycling team is using special goggles that give the athletes wearing them a heads-up display inside the goggles so they can see critical information about their ride, such as speed and wind conditions.

There are so many opportunities to get a front-row seat at the games this year. How will you be watching? Or should I say interacting?


  • Nine Months Until the Rio Olympics, But the Tech Race Has Already Started

  • The Rio 2016 Olympics Will Be a Defining Moment for Virtual Reality

    Information Age
  • 4K Coverage of Olympics Announced for Distribution Partners

  • Team USA Using Cutting-Edge Technology to Train for Rio


14 Simple Ways to Destress at Work