Quadrennial sporting events like the Olympics and FIFA World Cup have become benchmarks in how we consume and enjoy live content. The broadcast industry invests in advancing technology and preparation for these events is HUGE. Do other industries have similar events that drive innovation and technological advancement? If we look at other consumer-centric industries like retail or hospitality, we can see industry disruption in the form of e-commerce, online travel sties and e-payments. If we look at financial services, retail banking technology continues to evolve around mobile and online banking. But, there are no significant or recurring events that drive technology innovation.
The Olympics, as an example, drives and inspire technologists and broadcasters to create new ways to engage the viewing audience. Any way to capture a better images, share a more compelling store and encourage incremental viewing is on the table. Broadcasters test technology in advance of these global events. And consumers anticipate how these technologies will enhance their viewing experience. To be clear, tech advancements around sports are not limited to the broadcast community. Rio was the inspiration for technology such as underwater lap counters, electronic scoring for archery - with accuracy to within .2mm, balloons with high-resolution cameras for security.
However, the technology that enhanced our viewing experience included:
- - Drone cameras to provide better view of rowing
- - Augmented reality to highlight diving entries into the pool or swimmers setting world record paces
- - Virtual reality footage providing Samsung Gear VR users with exclusive immersive experiences
- - 4K content provided by NBC to Olympic Broadcast Services partners and NHK in Japan (albeit with a 24 hour delay due to the time it takes to process 4K footage)