Innovation and the Olympics
Whilst water tight restrictions have made sure that only those who stumped up the cash can play (£700m in cash to be exact, though some brands are willing to push it to the extreme), there are some really interesting things happening with technology and innovation over 2012.
The BBC’s vision was to make this the first truly Digital and Social Olympic games. They have created this excellent Social viewing app in Facebook that enables people to stream multiple sports and talk around them. It has features like stop and rewind, and alerts to big events in other streams. They are also feeding in Tweets live into the studio and on to the 20,000 pages they are creating through an automated back end system. They have openly said that this is a testing project for the role of Social TV services in the coming months.
The athletes are also free to speak through Social, though this is not necessarily always a good thing as Greece discovered and had to send an athlete home for being racist.
Facebook have launched an Olympics Hub which links to the Social profiles of key athletes, teams, sports, places to watch and of course, the sponsors presences.
Visa are using the Olympic village as a platform to showcase their vision of the future of payment and money. Athletes have been given limited edition Samsung Galaxy SIII’s that have payWave (their version of Google Wallet) installed, meaning they can pay for anything by just waving their phone at a terminal. (they can even unlock their hotel doors, control their TVs, and order room service using the technology) They’ve installed 3,000 of these apparently, including inside the rustic replica English pub complete with dartboard and pool table but that only sells Coke and Gatorade.
Uruguay have crowdsourced the designs for their Football shirts and invited fans to upload the sky blue imagery through a Facebook app.
PSFK and Fast Company are pretty good places to keep up to speed with what’s happening in communications, technology and beyond the sport:
There was a really nice article in the Sunday Times yesterday on how close to the bone parody 2012 was, this could not be more true than with this little short on mock PR Agency Perfect Curve’s Digital Strategy for the Olympics. Well worth a watch if you haven’t already seen it. Get your Twibbons, Twadgers, Tweeshirts and Twandanas now. #goteamGB