7 brands making the Rio Olympics hi-tech


The Rio Olympic games are fast approaching, and the city is scrambling to get everything in order in time. Let’s take a look at seven major companies that are contributing technology to help the event run smoothly.

New March Rio 2016 Edition


Nissan will provide 4,500 vehicles that will run on clean energy (ethanol or electricity.) Nissan is set to be the official automotive sponsor of the games, and vehicles will be used to transport athletes, coaches, officials and members of the media. The car manufacturer will also provide services including driver training and wheelchair accessible vehicles.

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Visa has been an Olympic partner since 1986, and this year is testing out a new ‘smart ring’ at the Rio games. 45 athletes on the Visa team will be given access to the ring, and will be able to use it to make purchases at any NFC-capable payment terminal. Other smart rings have been marketed on crowdfunding sites, however this is the first of its kind to be backed by a major credit card company.



Cisco will be contributing distribution, networking and security solutions. The support they give will mostly be to help media outlets broadcast the events from 26 different venues, as well as stream video online. Cisco will provide wireless, network routing, and even VPN services.



Panasonic supplied audio and visual equipment for the London 2012 games, and will continue to do so for the upcoming Olympics. The company will offer LED large-screen display systems, professional sound systems, broadcasting equipment, AV security camera systems and TVs. Panasonic has also been selected as the official ceremony partner, meaning it will provide high-brightness projectors and help NBC to broadcast some events in 4K.



Samsung will provide fans and athletes with location-based services and interactive communications. The company is also integrating its new VR technology into the games, and has created a 360 degree VR film that allows viewers to virtually experience Olympic beach volleyball. Samsung has even designed technology for Paralympic athletes, including a swim cap that allows blind swimmers to know when they need to flip turn in the pool.



The Olympics generates massive amounts of online data, and Microsoft will be in control of a number of Rio-related websites. It’s expected that approximately 12 billion web pages will be produced during the games, with 60 per cent of that traffic coming from mobile websites. Microsoft predicts that it will produce around four petabytes of data over the course of two weeks, and will be responsible for dealing with statistics throughout the Olympics.


General Electric

GE has been involved in building the actual infrastructure for the games as well as helping out with energy generation, water treatment installations, lighting and image diagnostics. It has also helped with ensuring that all medical records are online, so that the IOC does not need to worry about sending them on paper. This is the first games that all health care interactions will be recorded completely digitally.

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Jackie Atkins
Jackie Atkins
Jackie Atkins is a competitive alpine skier, student and aspiring writer who primarily contributes stories about the intersection between technology and sports to ITBusiness.ca.

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