Building the World

Olympic Visions


PyeongChang Olympics, motto: “Passion. Connected.”  Image: wikimedia

PyeongChang 2018 opened with ceremony and a hopeful promise of peace. Throughout history, Olympics have offered a window into the future. Japan built Shinkansen, the fast-train system, to open ten days before the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, garnering plenty of users and publicity.  Japan had a history of transport consumer involvement: in 1929, the country held a naming contest for new trains: Fuji and Sakura won public approval. London’s 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games inspired Laurence Kimball-Cook, a 25-year-old university student, to found PaveGen, generative floors that produce electricity when stepped upon. The West Ham Tube Station, leading to the Olympic stadium, lined with 12 electric pavers, activated by one million footsteps, powered the station. Hospital lobbies see an average of 250, 000 steps – enough to power 10,000 mobile phones; dance floors could light up nightclubs; campus students could walk in the light. What innovations will PyeongChang introduce? One glimpse into the future may be 5G preview. KT (formerly Korea Telecom), along with Intel, LG U+ Samsung, highlighted bobsledding and figure skating. TimeSlice created 3D in the Ice Arena. For those not in the stadium, NBC and Intel provided an app for VR views.

Captain, Sean. “The Winter Olympics Will Be A Coming-Out Party for 5G.” 8 February 2018. Fast Company.

Intel. “Experience the Coolest Games on Earth.”

KT. “KT becomes Olympics Partner.”

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

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