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Five Rio Olympics technology innovations

As the 2016 Summer Olympics kick off tonight, we list five technology innovations introduced for the sporting competitions in Rio de Janeiro.
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1 of 5 Angelica Mari/ZDNet

NFC for payments

Visa and Brazilian bank Bradesco are trialing wearables including a bracelet equipped with Near Field Communications (NFC) technology for payments at the Olympic Games. A user base of 3,000 people including athletes, artists and journalists taking part in the sporting events will be using the rubber waterproof bracelet to pay for goods and services inside the Olympic venues at more then 4,000 payment terminals.

In addition, a group of 45 Visa-sponsored Olympic athletes will wear an NFC ring, which is based on a design by McLear & Co and equipped with a Gemalto microchip and will also be used for payments during the Games.

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2 of 5 Angelica Mari/ZDNet

Photofinish technology

One of the main innovations introduced for the Rio Games is the photofinish technology by Omega. The cameras capture images of athlete as soon as they cross the finish line - the new release of the technology, the camera Scan 'O' Vision MYRIA, captures better quality images, around 10,000 digital photos in a vertical line per second.

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3 of 5 Angelica Mari/ZDNet

Security balloons

Four balloons with high resolution cameras will support security scheme for the Rio Games. Developed by Brazilian manufacturer Altave, the devices will send images produced by the 13 cameras installed internally in real time to the Center for Integrated Regional Command and Control, coordinated by the Army.

This is the first time such large-scale monitoring devices are using in an edition of the Olympic Games and the host city of the 2020 Olympics, Tokyo, as well as Qatar, host of the 2022 World Cup, have shown interest in the technology.

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4 of 5 Angelica Mari/ZDNet

Improved spectator experience

This edition of the Olympic Games will have the addition of color images to the scoreboards, also supplied by Omega, aimed at improving the experience for the public in the arenas and gymnasiums.

With the reintroduction of golf to the Games, there will be scoreboards in four teeing areas with a radar measuring system. New technology will also improve the accuracy in archery, with sensors added to the traditional paper, allowing spectators to know when the arrow hits the target and displays the score on the screen just one second later.

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5 of 5 Angelica Mari/ZDNet

Cloud-hosted portals

There were also innovations introduced within the technology running behind the scenes: core portals supporting key aspects of the Games such as volunteer activities and credential management will be hosted for the first time ever on the cloud, through a a private cloud environment provided by telecommunications firm Embratel.

According to the IT systems integrator for the Games, Atos, using the hosting model for these key systems is part of a move towards an entirely cloud-based model for all applications by the time the next competition takes place in 2020.

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