The Summer Olympics only happen every 4 years, so it makes a good metric of technology when you think back to the different venues we have used before to watch the Games and keep up with the results. This year, the Olympics get caught up with our app-centric way of life, streaming video, Twitter, and the web. The Olympics still have a lot to offer on our TVs but have also embraced our second screens as well. If you’re interested in the Games away from home or just in more flexible ways since there are many events going on simultaneously or the time difference may make it difficult to watch the events real-time, here is the scoop on some Olympics tech to be aware of.
The official website of the Olympics at Olympic.org is an authoritative site to find Olympics news. It might be better for keeping up with Olympics administrative news than the individual events but it has a lot of the details about the events, and the countries and their athletes performing in these games. The International Olympic Committee also has its own YouTube channel where you can catch news and highlights.
How important is social media at this Olympics? The IOC has established a Social Hub where people can find athletes, teams, sports, and events social media presences and follow from their various networks. Twitter has setup a channel to watch the Olympics hashtag and see the firehose of updates around the world.
The London 2012 Olympics have their official website at www.london2012.com and a YouTube channel for hangouts with athletes and more videos to come, I’m sure. Other presences online include Facebook and Twitter.
NBC is the exclusive home of the 2012 Olympics for US viewers. It has dedicated a lot of resources to run it well and it takes over the network through the whole event. Improving their web presence, you have www.nbcolympics.com and a YouTube channel as well as a spot on Google+. You can watch the Olympics live through NBCOlympics.com but you have to be a verified subscriber to a cable, satellite, or other partnering TV service. You will NOT need to sign in to watch highlights of events, only live events or full replays of events within 48 hours of the event. This restriction is also mainly tied to the US, where other countries may be free to livestream the videos without restriction. A few specific providers:
- Comcast (tied to NBC) with select 3D coverage
- DirecTV also to have 3D coverage on their n3D channel
DirecTV also boasts their Sports Mix Channel for simultaneously watching multiple events, on demand viewing of events, and updates on the screen for medal counts, schedules, and Team USA updates.
With as much as NBC and the IOC are pouring into having a successful Summer Olympics, TorrentFreak reports how the companies and authorities are standing at the ready to crack down on pirated streams of Olympics events.
Additionally, NBC has partnered with Adobe for the development of two apps. NBC Olympics has all your information on the Olympics and the participants and portals to the Olympics’ social sites. The second app is called NBC Olympics Live Extra. It allows you to watch live action or review highlights, but again, only if you are a subscriber to a required provider: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Dish, Verizon, Cox, Charter, AT&T U-verse, Optimum, Insight, suddenlink, Mediacom, and many more. Check all of NBC Olympics “On the Go” coverage.
The IOC created an Olympic medal alerts app for iOS devices and Android devices. You register the countries and events you are interested in and it will notify you whenever a medal is earned.
Another set of apps come from London 2012 to help plan your trip around the Olympics or view the results.
For an interesting read on some of the technology being used behind the scenes to manage and make the Olympics possible, check out this NYTimes article.
Let the games begin!