sustainable fabric 'wrap' design that will encircle London's iconic Olympic Stadium
July 13, 2012

Adobe Going Olympic With NBC And Mobile Apps

Peter Suciu for - Your Universe Online

The Summer Olympic Games in London promises to be a very high-tech affair — with numerous innovations in skin suits for the track and pool — but it could be the way that the games are seen that is the most revolutionary. While viewers around the world watched the Beijing Games in 2008 and the Vancouver Games in 2010 on mobile devices, this year´s Olympics promises to be a major game changer as Adobe Systems and NBC have teamed up to provide apps that are free to download beginning this week.

NBC Olympics and NBC Olympics Live will allow users to view the Olympics as the events occur, as well as look up athlete profiles and access other content on iPads, iPhone and select Android devices. The content will be available to pay-TV subscribers who have MSNBC and CNBC as part of their services.

This is a big move for NBC, which has limited online coverage at recent past games as the network had expressed concerns that such coverage could zap away its TV audience. However, with Comcast Corp. as NBC´s new owner, the thinking has changed. Now the online coverage is believed to be a way to spur interest and generate more eyeballs. Additionally, NBC will be streaming events online.

The apps will take coverage further than what is on TV, and could be seen as complimenting — rather than competing — with the TV coverage. The apps will allow users to record and even pause clips,  switch between cameras and have access to that aforementioned bonus content.

It was also announced this week that NBC Learn, NBC Olympics and the National Science Foundation have teamed up to provide 10 specialty videos that will be offered to NBC affiliate stations and made available for free on the web. These will focus on how technology is changing the way athletes perform, and shows that engineers make the dreams of the competitors become reality.

"The work of engineers not only affects Olympic sports - it also helps us perform ordinary activities in better ways," said Thomas Peterson, NSF assistant director for engineering in a statement. "This series will illustrate how engineers can impact both sports and society, and we hope it will inspire young people to pursue engineering."

Beyond all this, the London 2012 games will likely be the most high-tech and interactive Olympics to date. Social networking will play a huge role in the games, and analysts predict that the games could see as many 180 million Olympic related tweets sent over the 17 days of competition, with the Olympic Committee actually encouraging the 10,500 competing athletes to take part in social media.

“Social media is important to the IOC for many reasons,” said spokesperson Andrew Mitchell. “Firstly, it is an immediate and fun tool with which to connect and engage with our fans, especially younger ones, and it allows us to be a part of the global conversation.”

However, what is still being controlled is the use of social media, including YouTube in the posting of videos and in some cases even photos.

The IOC actually has no problem with photo-sharing, as long as it isn´t done for financial gain. Attendees at the games will also be allowed to film the competitions and other events on mobile phones, but they are not allowed to upload the content to public sites.

How the IOC hopes to actually stop people from uploading the videos could be worthy of an Olympic medal.