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Springboarding the Olympics into a new technological era

07 September 2021

Back in 1964, the first Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo marked a technological turning point in the competition’s history: described by one British journalist as the “science fiction” Olympics, it was the first major sporting event to be broadcast live via satellite.

Sophia Bell, Assistant Editor
Sophia Bell, Assistant Editor

Almost 60 years later, the long-awaited Tokyo 2020 was one of the most high-tech events to date, with groundbreaking advances in robotics, tracking technology, and sustainability.

Here are just a few innovations that were deployed at Tokyo 2020: 

• Intel and Alibaba launched 3D Athlete Tracking (3DAT), a cutting-edge tracking technology that combines AI and computer vision to generate 3D motion-capture models, delivering rapid, real-time performance data on the velocity, acceleration, and biomechanics of athletes’ movements.

• The Games also saw advances in clothing technology. Among these were Speedo’s Fastskin swimsuits, worn by the US swim team, who won a total of 30 medals. Working with various partners, including the National History Museum and Formula 1, these innovative lightweight swimsuits were inspired by the hydrodynamics of shark skin, to enhance flexibility and reduce drag. 62 percent of world record-breaking swimmers have worn Fastskin since the line was first launched in 2019. 

• The Tokyo 2020 Robot Project was designed to showcase the usefulness of robots in supporting people...

Read the full article in DPA's September issue

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