As the Olympics draw to a close, let’s take a moment to reflect on how our industry has performed. Apart from the data capacity issue that affected the opening men’s cycle race, it’s fair to say that so far most demands have been met.
Telecom firms say their networks have largely coped with the strain of the hundreds of thousands of spectators, workers and athletes using mobile devices in the Olympic Park in east London, where 30 mobile phone masts have been fitted across the 500-acre (2,000,000 square metre) site, 14 of them for inside stadiums and other buildings.
The BBC says 1.5 million people have downloaded its official Olympics mobile app to watch live coverage of the Games. Approximately 33% of all online Olympics content is accessed via a mobile phone, while 8% is viewed on a tablet such as the iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab, according to BBC figures. The majority of web hits (56%) come from laptop, PC and Mac users.
Interestingly, mobile technology has also had an impact on the performance of athletes at the Games.
For instance, gymnastics, diving and swimming coaches are using apps to analyse form, execution and timing and monitor the performance of their athletes. John Geddert, head coach of the US women’s gymnastics team and personal coach of Olympian Jordyn Wieber, has used SwingReader and Coach’s Eye, apps available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, to record gymnasts’ routines and play them back in slow motion, frame by frame.
‘You can see form and execution errors, legs apart or knees bent,’ explains Geddert, adding that the apps help him diagnose why a gymnast was not being credited for an element in a routine and make immediate adjustments.
Meanwhile, the US swim team uses an underwater camera to capture video footage, which is reviewed poolside in slow motion with an app called VideoPix, also available for the iPhone and iPod touch.
So, it’s official: mobile tech can help you win gold (as long as there’s no capacity issue, of course).