February 10, 2010

Olympics Embrace New Technologies

The Winter Olympic Games kicking off on Friday will see new snowmobiles from Google that are rigged with cameras, so that viewers at home can experience first-hand views of the slopes, AFP reported.

Google Canada head Jonathan Lister said in a blog post that a simple Google search would provide home viewers with the most up-to-date medal counts, event results and schedules.

"I'll be following men's hockey myself, and rooting for Team Canada," Lister added.

A snowmobile with cameras that capture "slope-level imagery" of runs at Whistler Blackcomb ski resort is the latest project from the team that created Google Maps' Street View.

Google sent its "Street View trike" to explore villages at the base of the mountains.

Meanwhile, aerial images and 3D models of the Olympic venue are among Maps offerings focused on Vancouver and Whistler.

Lister said such imagery and many other tools are now offered on their new website along with information about the Games.

Users also have an option to install a mini-program on iGoogle-personalized home pages that plugs into the Internet giant's online Olympic rundown.

Japanese electronics titan Panasonic Corporation also said that on Friday it would open a pavilion with two theaters showing the opening pomp and sports action in high-definition 3-D glory.

Panasonic said that its Olympic Pavilion in Vancouver would be open free-of-charge to the public through February 28.

Additionally, the Vancouver Olympic Village will be plugged in to this generation's digital athletes with an electronic graffiti wall, Wii consoles, DJ mash-ups and iPods.

Vancouver has also raised the Olympic standards for creating a "green" village, with low-flow toilets, compostable dinnerware and ubiquitous recycling.

"It's awesome," said Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux, 20-year-old twin sisters on the U.S. Women's hockey team.

"There are two girls on our team who are in their fourth Olympics and they say this is the best set-up, by far," said Monique. "So, we are in for a treat."


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