Olympics nears end and what an interactive spectacle its been

Some people may have had enough, but after 14 days of the Olympics, I’m sad that its coming to an end. It’s been a wonderful sporting festival, of course made better by the stunning performance of Great Britain’s team, that have moved us all (even if you hate sport) at some point with their amazing achievements.


Bejing.jpgThe Beijing games have been a great success, in fact some our sayingthe best ever, and on Sunday 24 August, London will officially takeover as the host City and you can celebrate with free events all over the UK. The Olympics will move from the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing to the East End of London AND what an honour it is – I do hope the carping about the costs will stop now.

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Well I can’t wait and am looking forward to those two weeks in London, when I think we will put on an amazing games, and what a chance of alifetime this will be to see sporting achievement and excellence in real life.

But there is a serious technology point that I wanted to raise about these games, which are the first when viewers have had such an amazing opportunity to follow whatever sport they want to see at whatever time they want to see it by using web-based technologies.

The BBC’s TV, radio and online coverage has been fantastic, giving live and playback opportunities across all the events, meaning that despite the time difference its actually been easier than ever to watch or listen to whatever you want to, rather than what the broadcasters want to show. But while the beeb has done a great job, it has been pointed out by this really interesting post on Capgemini’s CTO blog, that says the Dutch Television’s Olympics website demostrates great IT ideas that fluently merge into one.

It’sall there: integrated video and audio – live streams plus an on-demandarchive – and extensive background info linked to it, real-timeschedules and results, catchy business graphics, many different blogs,RSS feeds, tagging, Googlified search, video ranking, polls,daily elections (‘Olympic moment of the day’), a fully functionalmobile version and news widgets that can be used for personal mashupsin iGoogle, FaceBook, NetVibes or the Vista desktop. A wealth of inspiration in many different ways, no matter what your own IT direction may look like.

 So in four years time expect more rather than less of a truly interactive experience as web-based technologies develop and become ever more pervasive. Good luck London, I for one can’t wait.

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