Team IoT Takes the Stage with VR, AI at the Tokyo Olympics

The Olympics are here. After a year-long postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, athletes from around the world are gathering for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Without fans in the stands, companies are looking to IoT to bring the Olympics to fans at home and maximize the efficiency and experience at the Games.

Image credit: The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games

IoT usage is reaching a new record this year, as the need for virtual, immersive experiences hits an all-time high. The Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), the organization responsible for providing Olympic content to all broadcasters, is expanding virtual reality technology used in previous Olympic events by using Intel® True VR technology at Tokyo 2020.

Intel® True VR is offered to broadcasters from around the world who can in turn provide an immersive Olympic Games experience to all viewers, regardless of where they are. To do so, stereoscopic camera pods located all around the stadium will provide panoramic views of the athletes and the action. The camera pods operate on Intel® Xeon® processors that are connected to Intel-based servers.

Intel® True VR uses the data from all of the camera pods and processes it into a single, high-quality, real-time video stream using Intel® high-performance computing (HPC) and software algorithms. The Intel® True VR stream is viewable on mobile devices and can also be connected to VR headsets for a totally immersive experience.

An Exceptional Network Connects 42 Venues

Tokyo’s Olympic campus will feature a 5G network and some of the most advanced technologies seen in the Olympics. Cisco, NTT DOCOMO, and Intel have partnered with the IOC to power part of the infrastructure for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The network is built on the Intel® Xeon® processor, system-on-a-chip (SOC), and solid-state drive (SSD), and is the foundation of the secure network infrastructure in Tokyo. The NTT DOCOMO network will help connect the 42 competition venues, including the Olympic Stadium, and more than a dozen additional sites, such as the Athletes’ Village, broadcasting centers, and hotels.

Video camara attached to roof at stadium arena

Image credit: Intel® True VR

Make the Beat!

That’s not the only place next-gen technology will be deployed. The tech team at Tokyo 2020 used artificial intelligence to develop and compose the official “beat” for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The official beat is the melodic rhythm that accompanies the athletes when they appear at the venues and is designed to encourage fan interaction.

The development team used Intel® AI technology to help create the beat by combining a range of more than 1,000 sounds representing sports, Japanese culture, and nature. The beat will be heard throughout the Olympic venues. At-home fans can submit video clips using the beat to show support for athletes as part of the Share the Passion project. During the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the videos will be broadcast for the athletes inside the venues.

Although the Olympic Stadium may be short on fans, it is not lacking in technology. Virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and 5G are making the Olympic Games the smartest to date. Their integration will give at-home viewers an immersive and dynamic Olympic experience from afar.