The coolest tech innovations used during the 2018 Winter Olympics

The coolest tech innovations used during the 2018 Winter Olympics

By Mariam Jomha

The Olympics, whether they take place in the winter or the summer, are about more than just athletics. They are the perfect place for companies to show off their latest technologies – and this year’s event brought the best of the best. From robots to virtual reality cameras, here are the coolest technologies that were used during the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Intel drones light up the skies:

One of the most noticeable technologies used in the 2018 Winter Olympics was the drone. While drones are not a new technology, using them during the Olympics is. The opening ceremony kicked off with a breathtaking light show in the sky carried out solely by drones. Intel’s record breaking Shooting Star Drones Light Show was the perfect way to kick off an event enchanted with so many cool technologies. It should also be noted that these unmanned aerial vehicles were equipped with cameras of high-definition and thermal imaging to ensure safety and security throughout the event.

Kicking off the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, viewers from around the globe were treated to a record-breaking light show during the opening ceremony. Intel is providing drone technology at the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea. (Credit: Intel Corporation)


This is only the beginning for Intel in the Olympics. It announced a long-term technological partnership to enhance the Olympic Games through to 2024. Intel stated that:

“Intel technology will show viewers the future of the Olympic Games — where greatness is experienced with Intel True VR, esports reaches a world stage, drones take wonder to new heights and 5G powers a connection that’s faster and stronger than ever. With Intel technology, fans can do more than just watch the Olympic Games, they can experience them.”

Robots take over PyeongChang:

Robots could be spotted all over PyeongChang starting from the airport! LG Electronics took advantage of the event to show off its latest advances in robotic technology. In their press release, LG Airport Robots Take Over Korea’s Largest Airport, back in July 2017, LG announced that two types of robots were to be deployed in South Korea’s largest airport: Cleaning robots and robotic guides for travelers.

The Airport Cleaning Robot, aside from being adorable (as travelers described it), used LG’s HOM-BOT technology to keep airport floors clean. How? Equipped with technologies, such as autonomous navigation, object-avoidance, detection of areas of highest traffic (and dirt), storage of locations needing most attention and calculation of the best route to get there, these robots surely got the job done! It’s needless to mention their powerful cleaning capabilities.

The Airport Guide Robot was a whole nother story. These robots were equipped with LG’s voice recognition technology and could understand 4 different languages: English, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. They were connected to the the airport’s server and could provide info about boarding times, shops, restaurants, nearest bathroom and more. They also were able to guide lost travelers to the right gate by scanning boarding passes.

C360’s VR cameras put viewers on the ice without the chill:

Figure skating, short track speed skating, and hockey were filmed with C360 cameras to provide virtual reality (VR) viewing opportunities. This is the first time that VR has been used in any Olympic games. In the United States, this technology could be accessed on the NBC Sports VR app and for viewers in the European continent, the VR Olympic experience could be seen on Eurosport.

C360’s CEO Evan Wimer said on this monumental shift towards next-gen televised broadcasting,

“We are extremely honored by the opportunity to bring an added viewing dimension through our camera technology to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. We believe in the value that immersive video can bring to traditional sports broadcasts, and the PyeongChang Olympics is perfect event to introduce our newest GEN2 Immersive Camera System camera to a global audience.”

SmartSuits by Samsung give coaches more control:

Two Dutch speed skaters on the short track got to wear SmartSuits made by the industry giant, Samsung. These haptic suits are embedded with sensors and connect to their coaches’ mobile technology (i.e. their Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphones) where they can monitor their athletes’ body data in real time. The coach can send messages to the athletes via vibrations in certain portions of the suit while on the ice, so the athletes can make adjustments to posture and movements while practicing.

The technology was allowed only during training and practice runs, and not during competitive races. So, did this technology help the Dutch skaters snatch a medal? Well, one of the skaters did win a silver medal in the men’s 1500m race!

U.S. Ski Team gets a brain buzz with the Halo Sport headset:

The United States Ski Team used a piece of equipment called the Halo Sport headset that delivers transcranial stimulations. This innovative technology is produced by Halo Neuroscience. It has foam nibs that send electrical currents to the motor cortex to aid with movement during training.


This technology is supposed to increase muscle memory as well as strength and endurance for these elite athletes. The technology is used in the medical world with patients who have Parkinson’s, too.

Vima’s REV strobe glasses wake up the lazy side of vision:

United States skiers also got another interesting piece of technology to help them train – REV strobe glasses. Made by Vima, the REV glasses focus on improving the user’s non-dominant eye as well as train a variety of sensory skills, including reaction time, depth perception, balance, focus, and visualization.

Image courtesy of VIMA.

These special glasses are designed to help the skiers navigate turns on their non-dominant side, which is usually slower and weaker. The glasses utilize a liquid-crystal shutter to block vision in the dominant eye while creating a strobe effect to train the other, non-dominant eye. It can also be connected to an iOS or Android app that allows the user to customize their training experience.

Sasha Rearick, the head coach of U.S. men’s alpine told the BBC,

“Taking information away in a strobe fashion wakes up the brain to take and use information it does see and process it faster and better.”

Other technologies worth mentioning:

Under Armour unveiled their revamped skate suit. After a failed design for the 2014 Olympics, Under Armour completely redesigned the skate suit for the U.S. skate team. The latest model has three fabrics that have been tested to make it breathable and aerodynamic. The failed design from 2014 had a vent that slowed skaters down, so the newest model does not have a vent. Under Armour designed a new fabric called H1 specifically for this suit.

Oakley designed a new lens call Prizm for their snow goggles. The athletic eyewear maker says that these lenses create a vivid viewing experience for athletes who have to navigate the whiteness of the snow. These special lenses show the nuances in the snow and this helps them navigate the moguls.

Ralph Lauren sent out American athletes looking and feeling hot – literally. The U.S. team’s jackets contained heating components made of conductive inks that can flex and stretch. These inks are also water-repellent and connect to a battery pack that provides up to 11 hours of warmth. This is the first time the U.S. team used heated jackets in such an event.

Figure skaters can learn about their jumps by wearing body motion sensors that record their movements and translates them into 3D models. Coaches and skaters can make fine adjustments to the models and see how the jumps would change. Then, the skaters can make the right adjustments and have fewer falls. This VR technology is from Jim Richards, a professor at the University of Delaware.

The list really does go on and on. This Olympics was by far the most high-tech sports event we’ve ever seen. With 5G connectivity coming our way, the technological landscape of sports will reach new heights that may surpass PyeongChang 2018 by miles!

Featured image: Intel Shooting Star drones form the Olympics rings as part of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 opening ceremony drone light show. Intel will provide drone technology at the Olympic Winter Games, which begin Feb. 9, 2018, in South Korea. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

If you have any questions or would like to know if we can help your business with its innovation challenges, please contact us here or email us at

Never miss an insight

Get insights delivered right to your inbox

More of Our Insights & Work

Never miss an insight

Get insights delivered right to your inbox

You have successfully subscribed to our newsletter.

Too many subscribe attempts for this email address.