February 26, 2014

Technology Trends at the Sochi Winter Olympics

This year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi featured several technology advancements. From a technical glitch at the opening ceremony, to the mild temperatures that required state-of-the-art snow production; technology was a hot topic in developing news stories at the games.  Here’s a compilation of articles that highlight a few of the cutting-edge developments that took the spotlight.


Sochi is the First Truly Connected OlympicsForbes

The Olympic Park hosted the largest wireless network of any Olympics to-date. Avaya, the official network provider for the games, created 2,500 Wi-Fi access points in Sochi – an estimated 80 percent of users were accessing the Internet from wireless and personal devices in a region with less technology infrastructure.

3D Facial Recognition Airport Security at Sochi 2014 OlympicsDesignboom

With potential terrorist threats leading up to the winter games, Artec Group, based in Silicon Valley, provided the Sochi airport with its Broadway 3D BM facial recognition model.  The system analyzes approximately 40,000 facial points, being able to distinguish between identical twins!

An Olympian Snow Endeavor in Sochi  – New York Times

The unusually mild temperatures in Sochi created a huge problem for an event that relies on icy conditions.  The snow cannons used during the games were able to produce snow the same way our atmosphere does – covering approximately 500 football fields of land with over two feet of snow.

Sochi 2014: Bobsled redesign aims to provide inside tracks  –  Washington Post

The US Men’s Bobsled Team won the bronze medal in the two-man bobsled event – the first time in 75 years the team had taken a spot on the podium for the event. Some accredited the win to the newly redesigned sleds, engineered by BMW USA.

How a Big Bet on Racing Suits Left U.S. Speedskaters in the Cold  – Wall Street Journal

The much-anticipated U.S. Mach 39 speedskating suits, engineered by Under Armour Inc., failed to produce results.  The suits featured Polymer Blend Surface Segregations (POSS), meant to reduce friction and maintain velocity – athletes were unsure of the design.