Technology at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics | Industry
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On February 9, 2018, at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Intel presented a record-breaking opening ceremony. This is not just a metaphor – 1,218 Intel Shooting Star™ drones set a new Guinness World Records title for the “most unmanned aerial vehicles airborne simultaneously.” This record surpassed Intel’s previous record of 500 drones flown simultaneously in Germany in 2016. That night, Intel presented a choreographed light show of drones, which included animations of different sports and Olympic related logos. Throughout the Olympics, Intel will provide drone technology at the games, providing high-definition and thermal images to keep track of the environment for safety and security. Visitors can watch a live performance with a smaller group of 300 drones each night at the medal ceremony.
At the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, 5G, the “next generation” wireless network technology, is making its debut as well. 5G networks are still being developed, but the technology is expected to eventually be at least 10 times faster than 4G. That’s enough to download a 3D movie in 30 seconds, which would normally take six minutes on 4G. Intel and South Korean communications provider KT are offering 5G technology around the venue.
But 5G is about much more than smartphones and Internet. The extra capacity of 5G networks allow more gadgets, such as sensors, cars, robots, and other new technologies, to connect with one another. This feature enabled KT to roll out a self-driving electric buses that are hauling game visitors from venue to venue. Also, the 5G technology opened up new ways to watch the Olympics through 5G video streaming technologies. With Virtual Reality (VR) headsets, fans who can’t make it to Pyeongchang in person can watch up to 30 events live or on-demand. According to Rob Topol, general manager of Intel’s 5G business, “viewers can control the time, target, even the angle of what they’re viewing.”
In addition, the Pyeongchang Olympics has gained its reputation to be the first Olympic Games to integrate various robots. During this Olympic season, robots are offering many different services at each venue. For example, there are robot guides that can answer questions in Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese; reporter bots that deliver fast-paced game information with high-quality audio and video from reporters; beverage serving robots, robot vacuums, and more. The most famous is the ‘Soohorang’ robot, which can not only provide navigation help with clear voice and gesture, but also dance(!) when someone comes nearby. Visitors can take photos with this official mascot of the 2018 Winter Olympics.
The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics ran until the closing ceremony on February 25, 2018.
Hong Joon is a student at Johns Hopkins University, where he studies Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. He writes with Tech for Korea because he wants to spread the word about accomplishments in Korea. Hong Joon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org