Holograms may appear at future Olympics: Report

Holograms may appear at future Olympics: Report

Technology trends that could benefit both spectators and athletes at future Olympic games discussed in predictions report

Holograms of events could be projected from one stadium to another at the 2024 Olympic Games as the holographic technology continues to develop, according to a new report authored by experts from the IT and sporting industries.

The report , entitled Ascent at London 2012: A vision for sport and technology, is designed to help the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) prepare and benefit from the impact of technology at the 2020 Olympics and future games.

IOC chief information officer, Jean-Benoit Gauthier, and Rio Olympics 2016 CIO, Elly Resende, were amongst the report’s contributors. The report was commissioned by Olympic and Paralympic IT partner, Atos.

Atos Singapore spokesman, Gregoire Gillingham, told CIO Australia that from a technical perspective, holographic projection technology is developing rapidly.

“We predict that it will be possible to show holograms in a stadium within 10 to 15 years and the concept of a ‘live’ event being projected via holograms into other stadiums filled with spectators to be a realistic prediction,” he said.

Holographic technology was back in the news in 2012 during US music festival, Coachella, when hip-hop musician, Tupac Shakur, who was murdered in 1996, appeared as a hologram to perform with Dr Dre and Snoop Dog.

Track side action

According to the report predictions, if a viewer is watching a running final at home, they will see a speedometer on the screen showing how fast the athletes are running.

“Formula 1 cars already carry technology to provide the drivers’ view of the action and there is no reason, with [technology] miniaturisation and improving networks that this should not be possible in other sports in years to come,” Gillingham said.

“However, this would most likely not require athletes themselves to be encumbered by additional equipment that is detrimental to their performance.”

Stadium-only content

Fans that pay good money to attend sports events won’t miss out either. For example, whoever is running the event will be able to feed the live audience information that they may not want to put over a public network, said the report.

According to Gillingham, this information may include more detail on the athletes such as their recent performances, expert predictions on who is going to win, views from the warm up track and live social networking feeds from athletes.

Stadium-only information delivered over a 3G or 4G capable mobile network is something Australian National Rugby League (NRL) side, the Wests Tigers, is in the planning stages to use during the 2013 NRL season.

The Tigers have been working behind the scenes to develop platforms which would allow fans to access different camera angles or behind the scenes footage in the changing rooms via their smartphone or tablet while they are in the stadium.

Athletic advantage

According to the report’s findings, athletes could have the potential to train better through the use of performance data and analysis meaning increased performance data to spot patterns and identify signs of improvement, weaknesses or even injuries.

Performance data collected from a University of Western Australia (WA) research project, which uses the latest 3D imaging and biomechanical techniques to quantify swimmers’ movement patterns, will be used to help Australian swimmers prepare for future Olympic Games.

The 3D imaging data, which has been analysed by sporting body, Swimming Australia, will be used to help swimmers at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Cloud

Cloud computing is also predicted to come into play for the uploading and downloading of data. For example, spectators wanting to post their photos or videos online in real-time could do so as Cloud networks improve.

However, Gillingham adds that user generated content will need to co-exist with traditional content sources -- especially as broadcasters have paid millions of dollars for the rights to screen events such as the Olympics.

“Delayed feeds of user generated content is one possibility as is the broadcast rights being taken by new entrants competing with the traditional over the air broadcasters,” he said.

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