During the 2012 London Olympics viewers from around the world were able to capture the majesty of the event on their television sets, over the internet and via mobile and tablet devices. In Africa and Asia the Olympics were even broadcast in real-time by video streaming service YouTube. When we look back to four years earlier the number of ways we could watch the Olympics skyrocketed thanks to smaller, more portable and social devices. If four years could make that much of a difference just imagine what the 2016 Olympics in Rio will have in store for us.
In 2016 the Olympics will be watched almost solely in 1080p definition or higher. As mobile networks continue to roll out 4G data technology and cable providers continue to push free HD it is almost certain that standard definition in developed nations will fall to high definition. It’s hard to ignore how important HD has become, especially on smaller mobile devices such as smartphone and tablets were smaller screens require higher resolution video in order to capture all of the magic.
More of the 2015 Rio Olympics will also be streamed at faster speeds from the home as 802.11ac and 802.11ad WiFi reach market. Users will be more likely by that time to watch events on their home systems while examining event data from their mobile devices.
3D will be huge. The 3D television market is continuing to fight for its footing and as television prices fall and more homes acquire the televisions over the next four years to replace old television sets we will likely find ourselves with the ability to watch most if not all events in 3D. It’s likely that by 2016 televisions will also be able to offer better successive frames viewing which will lead to a more immersed viewing experience.
By 2016 actual visitors could find themselves learning more about the events they are actually watching through the use of augmented reality. I was really surprised that such technology wasn’t more utilized at the 2012 Olympics Games. Imagine pointing your smartphones camera at an athlete and finding their records and other information in real-time on your smartphone. Perhaps you just want to look around the stadium and learn about other events being prepared around the area, all of that and much more will be possible if the right mix of augmented reality is brought into the event.
Social sharing will dominate the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. On mobile devices users will be asked to interact in order to enjoy available content. With the rising costs of broadcasting the Olympics networks will want to ensure they reach the largest audiences possible. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other social networks will be encouraged for use by visitors and viewers alike, unlike this past Olympics in which smartphones and tablets were nearly banished from events. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Facebook, Twitter or other social networks reaching content streaming and data rights agreements with content providers.
With four years to go the possibilities for the 2016 Rio games are endless and definitely exciting.
[Image via Brazilcenter]