2012 was so four years ago. Those London Games? Might as well have happened on a different planet. I guess the fact that Rio is half a world away basically means these 2016 Summer Olympics are happening on a different planet. But in all seriousness—technology has evolved so much in the last four years that those of us who will be watching the Games over the next few weeks will, in some instances, have completely different viewing experiences than our selves of four years ago.
Here’s a look at some of the technology that will be introduced to the watching world throughout the 2016 Summer Olympics down in Rio.
Olympics in Virtual Reality
In just the past few months, virtual reality has gone from a gamer’s paradise to a consumerized market thanks to the launch of products like Google Cardboard, Samsung’s Galaxy VR device, and the myriad other headgears available out there. As such, the Olympic Broadcasting Services—the IOC’s official body responsible for coordinating TV coverage of the Olympics—will have VR footage from different venues in Rio, enabling viewers to transport themselves from their living room to Rio. NBC and the BBC already said they will take advantage of the 360-degree footage being made available by the committee.
Drones Return to Rio
As big as the drone explosion has been in the consumer space, it’s been equally impressive among content providers. The spider cam at football games has essentially lost its tethering wires and can present all kinds of different angles—near and wide—for viewers to experience. In Rio, drones will be deployed to cover a lot of the open water events (rowing, for example), among other things. Drones were at the Sochi games in 2014, and made headlines when one nearly took out an alpine skier. Here’s hoping they avoid a similar fate in Rio.