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OPLIN 4Cast #761: Will the Olympic winners be determined by who had the most expensive tech?

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As the Olympic games begin in Tokyo, much of the focus has been on the technological innovations bringing an amazing amount of content to viewers, including biometric data displays, 3D athlete tracking, true 360 video and more. However, a great deal of tech is also involved in the training of Olympic athletes, as you’ll see from the stories below. Training technology and wearables have brought an increased amount of data, allowing for very granular fine-tuning…and increased controversy.

  • Tokyo Olympics: from wearables to 3D printed shoes and AI-powered coaching, athletes are using technology to aim for gold [South China Morning Post] “Dr Bryce Dyer, who researches assistive technology in sports and is the deputy head of the design and engineering department at Britain’s Bournemouth University, said technological advancement could lower the participation rate of underprivileged athletes in the long term due to the costs of technologies such as Speedo Fastskin swimsuits and Nike Vaporfly shoes.”
  • Wearable tech at the Olympics: how athletes are using it to train to win [The Conversation] “Wearable tech produces large quantities of data that needs to be analyzed and contextualized with other types of information, such as sets, repetitions, intensities and interval times. The sheer quantity of data can easily become unmanageable when multiple athletes and training sessions are involved.”
  • It’s all in the wrist: Sports tech blossoms at Tokyo Olympics [NikkeaAsia] “Japanese telecom KDDI has developed a baseball embedded with a sensor that measures spin rates and ball movement. Priced under $300, the company hopes it to be widely used by children’s baseball teams. Future Olympics, therefore, could become a clash of tech natives, trained from a young age by the latest technology.”
  • Advances in spike technology are laughable and unfair, says Bolt [Reuters] “After athletes ripped through the record books in distance running with carbon-plated, thick-soled shoes, the technology has now moved into sprint spikes, where – although there is less time in a race for the advantage to make an impact – it is still enough to make a difference.”

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