10 New Ways Information Technology is Used in the Olympics

The 2012 Olympic Games in London are an exciting time for Olympic information technology as the best new products are introduced on a world stage. We consulted Dr. Debby Telfer, Program Director for Computer Science and Information Technology at CTU, to learn about innovative technology used in this year’s Olympics.

    Laptop with Olympic Medals

  • The London 2012 Olympics will be the first that offers completely digitized broadcasting. According to TVTechnology, video-on-demand should be available within a few hours of the events.
  • The Olympic IT systems must support 14,700 athletes.
  • Olympic athletes are now asked to bring their electronic medical records (EMR) ahead of time so they can be diagnosed and treated quickly in case of injury.
  • The Olympic technology center is confident it can handle threat of cyber-attacks after technology company, Atos, invited ethical hackers to perform 200,000 hours of cyber-attacks on the systems.
  • Approximately 11,500 computers are part of the Olympic technology operations.
  • According to the Chicago Tribune and Direct Marketing News, mobile apps can now be used to purchase tickets, view schedules and seating, and find directions.
  • Mobile and other broadcasting systems will use language translation services to bridge barriers between Olympic tourists from around the world. An iPhone app, dubbed VoiceTra4U-M, will support full voice translation for 13 different languages and text translation for a further 10.
  • Most venues and everything IT-related that was built for the Olympics had to be temporary because it will be deconstructed after the games.
  • Between 12-14 million daily security threats on the 2012 Olympics IT infrastructure are expected, but only about 20 will need to be investigated each day.
  • According to, the 2012 London Olympics will process 30% more results than the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

What new technology would you like to see implemented at the next Olympic games? Share your comments below, or discuss with Dr. Telfer on Twitter @CTUTech.

Debby Telfer, DCS, spent 19 years at IBM in several IT-related roles, including programmer and software developer/engineer. She also served nearly five years as a mathematician, programmer and engineer at the U.S. Army Armament Research and Development Command (NJ). Currently, Dr. Telfer is CTU’s Program Director for Computer Science and Information Technology.

Image credit: Andrew Villegas/KHN/iStockphoto

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