Tech Goes for Gold in Athens
Wednesday, August 18, 2004; 9:34 AM
CNBC's Squawk Box took a look at what a big deal it is to run the games' technology needs in a feature broadcast this morning. The "IT set up is so big, it could run a small country. In many ways, it is," CNBC reporter Mike Hegedus said in his introduction. Atos is running a supersized IT operation and helping push data to thousands of athletes, journalists and PCs that are a part of the games, the piece said. Atos also will manage the IT operations at the 2006 Winter Games, but Greece will get to keep the computers and other infrastructure that was put in place for the Summer Games, CNBC noted.
Australian IT: Atos Origin Team Dives Into Games
The Associated Press via the Boston Herald: Guarding Olympic High-Tech In Athens
Technology is helping with efforts to provide high-end security for thousands of participants, visitors and officials, the Associated Press reported. "Recent leaps in technology have paired highly sophisticated software with street surveillance cameras to create digital security guards with intelligence-gathering skills," the AP said. "The system -- developed by a consortium led by San Diego-based Science Applications International Corp., or SAIC -- cost about $312 million and took up a sizable chunk of Athens' record security budget of more than $1.5 billion. It gathers images and audio from an electronic web of over 1,000 high-resolution and infrared cameras, 12 patrol boats, 4,000 vehicles, nine helicopters, a sensor-laden blimp and four mobile command centers."
The Associated Press via CNN: Olympics Digital Security Unprecedented
Security is being monitored by virtual eyes in the sky, wire service Agence France-Presse reported. A high-tech blimp "equipped with high-resolution cameras and filled with 6 000 cubic metres of helium, is to patrol the Athens sky 16 hours a day during the August 13-29 Games, from an altitude of 1 200 to 3 400 metres. Anti-chemical detectors are also part of its fit-out. ... Hundreds of security cameras scattered throughout Athens are to feed image and sound to Olympic security command centre on the ground," the article said.
Agence France-Presse via South Africa's News24: Security Zeppelin For Athens
More from the article: "Laptop-equipped coaches and athletes can connect wirelessly from a stadium or an airport lounge to servers in Colorado Springs and access statistics on thousands of athletes around the world. Even the U.S. Olympic Committee isn't sure how much is spent to keep American athletes technologically up to date. Dozens of governing bodies, covering sports as varied as archery and yachting, acquire their own computers and other gear, and no official keeps a tab on the total. The technological progress hasn't been universal. Competitors from many countries can't afford the basics, such as gymnasiums, pools and proper training shoes, let alone laptops, video cameras and cutting-edge software. The Olympic committee for Laos, for instance, can afford only a single notebook computer. So athletes from less-developed countries find themselves at a disadvantage even before the opening ceremonies begin tonight in Athens."
Los Angeles Times: Training Olympians Try Data Crunches (Registration required)
High-Tech Athletic Gear
Electronics Weekly reported today on a wearable computer for athletes, developed by researchers in Athens and at the University of Birmingham. The computer "can remotely monitor the performance of athletes. The computer is strapped to an athlete's chest and wrists and can track the acceleration, pace and body temperature of the wearer. In the case of a volleyball game a corresponding data collector in the ball sends information back to the receiver when hit by the player. Data is sent to a laptop over a radio link."
Electronics Weekly: U.K. Wearable Computer Debuts At Olympics
And sharks are providing inspiration for high-tech swimming gear. Swimsuit maker Speedo studied shark skin for its Fastskin swimsuits, the Daily Press of Hampton Roads, Va. reported. Swimmer phenom Michael Phelps is "wearing the bottom half of Speedo's sharkskin suit, which has ridged fabric to emulate tiny tooth-like shark scales called denticles. In the late 1990s, the Newport News shipyard asked [Mark Patterson, a professor who studies shark hydrology at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester Point], to study shark denticles to see if the same concept could help the shipyard build swifter carriers and submarines. It wasn't the first time local scientists had tried to apply shark anatomy to a vehicle."
Daily Press: Suit Helps Athletes Swim Like Sharks