The “Green Games:” Technology at the 2022 Winter Olympics

 



The 2022 Winter Olympics kick off this week with athletes around the world competing to bring home the gold. The 2022 Olympics is a quick turnaround from the 2020 Olympics which, thanks to Covid, occurred this past summer. The 2020 Summer Olympics introduced new tech such as the Toyota Service Robots or the Panasonic Contactless Vital Sensing.  These tech innovations serviced athletes, sporting arenas, and tracked athlete’s health. These are just a few of the tech innovations we saw over the summer. As the 2022 Winter Olympics kick off, we can only expect that China is going to introduce some new tech as well.

The Green Games

China has promised to use 100% renewable energy for the Olympic games which is the first Olympic games to do so. With 26 venues, 15 sports, and over 2,800 athletes, how is China going to power the game with 100% renewable energy? Zhangjiakou, the co-hosting city in Hebei Province, has been working on three renewable energy products. These projects include wind power, photovoltaic power, and solar thermal power.

China has installed wind farms across hundreds of acres in Zhangjiakou that produces 14 million kilowatts of energy. This is similar to the power Singapore can produce. China has also installed solar panels on the mountainsides that will produce an additional 7 million kilowatts of energy. The Olympic Organizing Committee said that China built a “dedicated power plant that takes on power generated from renewable sources, stores it and transmits it to all venues.”

For transportation, athletes can also rely on eco-friendly vehicles. Organizers have said that 85% of vehicles used for the games will run on electricity or hydrogen. The Olympics will have around 655 hydrogen busses that will transport athletes and officials. Additionally, due to the Pandemic, only domestic spectators can attend sporting events. As a result, international flying will be reduced which reduces transportation emission.

Although China is working toward a green Olympics, they still must create artificial snow. China is the first winter games to use 100% artificial snow. The games will need around 49 million gallons of water to create enough snow for the games. Environmentalist have raised concerns that creating artificial snow will deplete the water supply, require lots of energy, and require chemicals to keep the snow from melting. A member of the Beijing Olympic organizing committee, however, suggests that the water used for the games come from Zhangjiakou’s reservoirs and will accounts for less than 1% of the city’s water supply, has no chemical additives, and, when it melts, will naturally re-enter the soil.

Despite the concern of the artificial snow, China is making steps in the right direction to create “green games.” The Director of Planning and Construction Department of BOCOG estimates that the venues will consume 400 million kilowatts of green energy. This will reduce standard coal combustion by 128 thousand metric tons and carbon dioxide emissions by 320 thousand tons.

Goodbye People, Hello Robots

The Coronavirus Pandemic is still surging around the world and putting over 2,800 athletes from 91 countries may not be overly Covid-friendly. China is trying to reduce the amount of contact between humans and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. China is doing this by replacing humans with robots and providing more Covid checkpoints. Similar to the Tokyo Olympics, China has adapted various types of robots to help disinfect, test, and cater to athletes and spectators. 

To help with Covid specifically, China has created disinfecting, temperature checking, and an “anti-epidemic” robot. The “anti-epidemic” robot will be placed at the entrance of competition arenas. The robot will act as a checkpoint for those entering the area. It will scan individual’s QR codes and will check health, vaccination status, and travel status. The temperature robot will scan to check individual’s temperature by taking thermal images and analyzing them. Lastly, the disinfecting robot will roam around arenas during the Olympics to sterilize competition areas. It can sterilize up to 36 square meters in one minute. 

In addition to the health checking robots, China is using robots to avoid human interaction. The logistic robot presents the final scores to athletes and it can deliver goods, carry luggage, etc. There will also be a robot that presents the awards to the athletes. Lastly, China is using robots to make and deliver food to the athletes. These robots will be able to make a variety of cuisines and deliver them straight to the athletes.

Top Speed for the Top Athletes

China is breaking barriers these Olympic games as it’s the first Olympic games with 100% renewable energy and first Olympic games with 100% artificial snow. China is also the most 5G-driven Olympic games. 5G has become increasingly popular the last few years with the new smart devices having 5G capabilities. 5G is the fifth generation mobile network that has improved data speeds, ultra-low latency, better reliability, increased availability, and, overall, a better user experience. China is utilizing 5G to make sure signal is available wherever you are at the Olympics. Whether it’s in a tunnel or on top of a mountain, individuals will be able to livestream or use their devices.

5G will provide service for China’s robots and other services. Having fast coverage will allow robots to health check individuals and take temperatures at a fast rate. This allows for the Olympics to monitor and address any health concerns quickly. There will also be 400 5G base stations along China’s express railway at the games. Individuals on the train will have coverage and be able to stream the games throughout their transport. The train will be able to travel about 105 miles in less than an hour. This express will allow athletes and reporters to quickly transport between game venues. 5G will help with broadcasting and cloud technologies. The cloud shares information such as event results, event locations, athletes arrivals/departures, and more.

The winter Olympics begins February 4th and ends February 20th. China is changing the way in which the Olympics are held through creating a more sustainable venue and utilizing the capabilities of a 5G network. As the games begin, we can expect to uncover new technological innovations that China has created. You can stay up to date with events and rankings here. Continue to tune into our Tech Tuesdays to continue to learn about emerging technology trends. If you are having any issues with technological devices, stop into your nearest GeniusCPR locations and one of our employees will get you taken care off. 

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