Connectivity, Visuals, and Movement: the tech of Beijing Games in a nutshell
Updated: Jun 18, 2022
By Yasmin Silva Nilsson
June 4, 2022
UPDATED 12:00 PM EST
[Photo Credit: AFP]
In the beginning of 2022, the Beijing Winter Olympics showcased a perfect scenario for China to display its potentials, one of them being technology. From ice-making and 8K streaming to hydrogen-powered buses, around 212 different technologies guaranteed the realization of the Olympic events in China, according to a government’s press release. One of the policies that allowed such support was an Action Plan designed since 2016 between the government of the Hebei Province, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the General Administration of Sport of China. Then, in 2017, the Ministry officially launched a “high-tech Winter Games” program, which counted with more than 80 associated projects.
However, the efforts of such organizations do not sustain this tech story alone. A series of unique challenges – such as the pandemic – demanded fast solutions: more than 150 bioaerosol monitoring systems allowed for the air detection of the whole venue. Besides the effects of COVID-19 on the isolation and regular testing of athletes, most judges and broadcasters participated via remote locations. China’s treatment of the Muslim population in Xinjiang influenced nations such as the US, the UK, Canada, India, and Australia to promote a diplomatic boycot against the nation. Additionally, artificial snow also played a vital role in the realization of most sports, since Beijing averages less than an inch of snow during the winter months. When it came to content access, the Olympic Broadcasting Service (OBS) moved broadcasting elements into the cloud for the first time ever. These content workflows were very remote-friendly, and connected all distant parties contributing to the event.
An additional theme of the Games was “Green”. Beyond the buses, the eco-friendly rinks used a cooling system that boosted energy efficiency by more than 20%, which consisted of direct CO2 cooling. Biodegradable tableware made from corn and raw materials and hydrogen-powering both also used high technology deployment.
In many ways, the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing definitely outlived the pandemic and showed the plural usages of technology through several applications – even more the Chinese capacity to display its fast solutions designed not only locally, but also globally.