As Rio braces up for Olympics 2016, the rest of world is all poised to witness burgeoning technology backing its viewership. ESPN, very effectively notes, that the 2012 London Olympics had already showed us what the most “connected TV experience could be like”. Post 2012, the world would have probably thought – “technological innovation couldn’t possibly have got better than this!!!” Wrong. There is no end to innovations, the 2016 Rio Olympics has definitely got more surprises in store. Let us explore the impact of technology on Olympics 2016. Will this year go on to redefine viewership once again? We’re not far away from discovering that.

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Image Credit: flickr

Tracking the evolution of technology since 2008

Prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Television viewership of the world’s biggest sporting event was only limited to the prime-time evening highlights of what happened that particular day. However, in 2008, things changed drastically with NBCUniversal (the ones who provide Olympics coverage for American audiences) offered several hours of TV, cable and online coverage of Olympics at NBCOlympics.com.

Come 2012, there were around 10 million tweets generated by people watching the live ceremony on 27th July. The figures thus registered (i.e. around 10 million) accounted for more than what was tweeted in the entire 2008 event. The hours of viewing also increased dramatically. As against 2,200 hours of online video streaming in 2008, 2012 offered 3,600 hours of telecast.

The increased hours of telecast in 2012, could directly be attributed to the growth of tablet computers and iPad. The introduction of more refined technologies went on to facilitate viewership. The increased bandwidth, high definition still images and videos led to definite improvement in user-experience as well.

According to NBC, viewers streamed videos for a total of 20.4 million hours and 30% of these videos were viewed in iPads and tablets.

Technological Improvement: We are not done yet

ESPN goes on to predict that the world is yet to witness further strides in technology where those watching the Games from their homes would be able to view what someone from the stands is recording from his or her smartphone or video camera. Plus, there is little time before wearable cameras in the form of glasses will invade the scene. Venues backed by Wi-Fi facilities will soon see us being able to triangulate various locations of fans at the venue. Plus, the devices would be able to offer more information to sporting fans in the form of one-touch availability of stats and figures of favorite athletes. It is even expected that athletes, playing fields and equipment will have cameras mounted on them.

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