Before every major sporting event companies roll out scores of sporting goods, recovery boosters and fitness monitors. And it seems Rio 2016 is definitely the most advanced Olympic games yet.
There fore we decided to take a look at what the athletes have on offer to enhance their on and off-field performance, as well as what the fans have to take their viewing experience to the next level.
Cooling hoods: With the temperatures at Rio expected to be high, Nike has designed this hood to help athletes keep a cool head on their shoulders, literally.
You might have spotted USA decathlete Ashton Eaton sporting one these “ice hats” that are basically multi-layered mask-like structures whose leak-proof inner layers are designed to retain cold water, while a structural frame around the eyes keeps cold portions in place and maintains a secure fit.
Laser-cut swimsuits: Adidas and Speedo have given athletes their best-ever swimming gear. USA’s Micheal Phelps will be wearing Speedo’s LZR X swim short that the company claims will be as good as a second skin. The bands that run across the sides and front of the legs help compress muscles to give the athlete the a highly ergonomic and streamlined shape.
Underwater lap counters: Staying in the pool, the swimmers will have one less thing to worry about as the floor of the pools will be fitted with underwater lap counters to help them keep an count during the long 800m and 1500m freestyle events.
Custom cut spikes and wind tunnel strips: Running gear has always been one of the coolest on display and much like swimming it’s all about reducing the drag and making the runner more aerodynamic.The panels or strips can be attached onto the sides of the athlete’s bodies and they channel air around their bodies reducing the resistance or drag coefficient thus increasing their speed, only marginally, but that’s all the difference between a silver and a gold isn’t it.
GPS canoes and sailboats: Sports like rowing and cycling have far more strategy than meets the eye. Saving up energy, calculating the shortest route, taking the turns and most importantly slowing down and accelerating at optimal times is what makes a champion.Every canoe and sailboat in Rio 2016 will have GPS modules attached to them to help television viewers and spectators at the venue follow it on big screens with details about speed, direction, wind speed and direction, distance to finish and other details.
VR Streaming: Right from documentary filmmakers to news organisations, several media production houses have been investing heavily in Virtual Reality content. US television channel NBC has planned up to 85 hours of VR streaming for their subscribers and will be available to those who have a Samsung Gear VR headset.
Smart Glasses: Sticking to the VR world, the athletes weren’t left behind in this one too. Solos created special glasses that look a bit like the Google Glass to help cyclists see and hear their speed, lap count, time and distance to finish, as well as elevation.
Smarter smart watches: Everyone has one, even just as a fashion statement. Whoop has come up with what they call the most advanced and comprehensive athlete performance monitoring system ever and with Whoop Strap they show why.The device, not only monitors vitals, sleep patterns and calories, but also advises the wearer on his/her recovery time after activities and maps behavioural patterns to reach peak performance.
Google Street Views: If you are in Rio and see someone with what looks like a jet-pack then don’t worry, it’s just one of Google’s Street View contributors. Sitting at any corner of the world you can see the Olympics from the eyes of the athletes and people present at the venue. 360 degree images will help users get a panoramic view of all the venues.
Laser assisted scoring: In sports like archery you often strike the same point more than once leading to discrepancies in points. To tackle just that the target boards at Rio 2016 will be fitted with laser guided trackers that will display the point of impact with an accuracy of 0.2mm and the results will show up as quick as one second after striking.
NFC payment rings: As notes, coins and even cards are being done away with VISA has brought the next-gen contactless payment method to Rio 2016 – the smart ring. With a gentle wave of your finger you can make payments in a jiffy. The ring though, will be available only for athletes and a few organisers at Rio.