Tech in the 2016 Olympics

With the Olympics happening, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss the impressive technology that is used in the games.

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First off, I had to do some research on taekwondo. Turns out (for those of you who also know nothing about the sport) a blow to the head is worth three times as much as a kick to the torso and the winner is determined by points. Before technology entered the sport of taekwondo, it was at the discretion of the referees to determine these points. Of course, humans are prone to error and the misjudgment of a referee can easily determine a win from a loss. In hopes to minimize errors of scorekeeping, the equipment on competitors has been technologized. The socks worn by competitors have magnets while the head and torso pieces have impact sensors. These operate on Wi-Fi and send signals in just tenths of a second to scorekeepers after each blow.

Archery will also be improving its scorekeeping by using an electronic scoring system which will automatically display the score after the arrow hits the target. By using the electronic scoring system, accuracy of points will be improved and won’t depend on referees’ judgment. The score will be displayed to spectators as well as the athlete’s heart rate allowing spectators to monitor the athlete’s heart rate during the competition. Intense!

Another sport that is getting some new tech is swimming. Underwater lap counters will be at the bottom of each lane near the turning point so that swimmers can see how many laps they’ve swam up to that point. Another water sport, canoeing, will use technology for the first time. GPS technology will be implemented in order for fans to more easily track the canoers’ performance. A screen will display live video of the canoes as well as information such as speed and distance.


Athletes in weightlifting, volleyball, and beach volleyball will be watched by every angle with several cameras being installed for replays, and to watch every movement of athletes. Virtual reality videos (those 360 degree videos you see on Facebook now) will be broadcasted to the world throughout the games as well.

Lastly, visitors at Rio 2016 can use a bracelet throughout the games to pay for just about anything at the games. The bracelet uses NFC (near field communications) technology to allow transactions. Rings with the same technology will be available to athletes. The rings are even waterproof for those swimmers and canoers.


Ezabella, Fernanda. “Brave New World: Rio 2016 Games to Showcase Technological Innovations.” Rio 2016. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Aug. 2016.

“‘Tech-wondo’ Shows off Its Innovations at Rio 2016 Olympic Games Test Event.” Rio 2016. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Aug. 2016.