Although the history of the Olympic Games can be traced back to 776 BC, the history of Olympic timekeeping technology only began more than 100 years ago. As the first ‘modern’ Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 1896, a manual chronograph pocket watch was used to determine the player’s time. At that time, the accuracy was only 1/5 of a second. Since the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece, the Olympic timing technology has been continuously developing. More than 100 years have passed, and the stopwatch used for timing in the first modern Olympic Games has now been replaced by a series of high-tech timing devices. In view of the rapid development of today’s timing technology, even with a slight gap of one millionth of a second, Also determines the ownership of the championship.
This accuracy requires state-of-the-art timing technology. Looking at the current world, there are only a handful of institutions that can meet the IOC timing standards. Omega has been cooperating with the Olympic Committee since 1932. Since then, it has continuously appeared on the accurate timing stage of the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, and has been concentrating on the development of new technologies to provide advanced and lasting guarantee for the timing equipment of the Olympic Games. At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Omega was once again the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games. What brand-new timing technology does this Olympic Games have? Let us take you through it.
Omega Light Sensor End Camera
Probably the most well-known timing device used in sports competitions is the light-sensing camera system, which is installed at the finish line of sprints, hurdles, and other racing events. When the athlete crosses the finish line, his image is captured by the device, and the referee will then formally determine the winner of each competition based on this information. The new Omega light-sensing endpoint camera consists of a time detector and a timer. The end point image is produced by a high-tech picture capture device that captures images on a vertical line at a speed of 10,000 frames per second. The sensitivity of the new device has been improved compared to the previous one, making the quality of the photos taken much better than the original endpoint camera. At the same time, the compact size of the device greatly reduces the time required for assembly and disassembly.
New Omega Electronic Eye Technology
Since 1948, the electronic eye has been one of the important devices for ‘stop timing’. The electronic eye can immediately know the results on the finish line and provide accurate data records of the winners for the athletes and spectators. In the competition in recent years, two pairs of electronic eyes at the two ends of the finish line emit light beams at the same time. When the contestants cross the light beams, the timing stops immediately. Today, Omega is proud to introduce a new and upgraded version of this important device. The number of electronic eyes has been increased from the original two pairs to four pairs, all connected to a system and placed on the finish line of the track. Four pairs of electronic eyes work at the same time, which can detect more body shape when the athlete crosses the beam, and no longer need to adjust the height of the electronic eyes during hurdles. This means that the accuracy of data at critical moments will be greatly improved.
New Improved Scoreboard
The high-resolution scoreboards used at the Rio Olympics have been redesigned and installed with new operating software that not only displays text and instant messages, but also plays animations, athlete pictures and visual images. With the application of modern special effects, the scoreboard can highlight the names of the winners, their achievements and the flags of their countries, making the viewing of the game more exciting and exciting. The new scoreboard will not only ensure the continuity of all matches, but also get unprecedented grand effects at such exciting moments as breaking world records and producing world championships. Omega spent a lot of time testing different distances and contrasts to ensure maximum visibility of the scoreboard. Compared with the amber and black scoreboards used in the past, the new scoreboard is a major improvement.
After more than a century, golf has returned to the Olympic arena. To this end, Omega has introduced a new scoreboard for this event. The new scoreboard is set on four dedicated tees on the ground and equipped with a radar measurement system. After the golfer kicks off, the scoreboard will capture real-time information and show it to the audience, allowing them to keep a close eye on the game. In addition to the player’s name and current performance, the scoreboard will also display real-time data such as hitting speed, estimated distance and hitting height.
Illegal Runaway Monitoring System
The performance of the starter used in track and field events has been greatly enhanced. Thanks to its built-in sensor, it measures the pressure exerted by the competitors on the starter at a speed of 4,000 times per second. This monitoring system can immediately send force measurement data to the on-site computer and draw a ‘force curve’, so that the sender can intuitively analyze the athlete’s reaction in the event of a run. All this can be achieved thanks to the new system application software and the improved communication technology between the starter and the offending detection system.
Archery target system
For the first time in the Olympic Games, technology was used to record results in archery. Prior to the Olympic Games, the results of archery competitions have always depended on the human eye to use special telescopes to determine. At the Rio Olympics, Omega introduced a new arrow target with a built-in scanning system. When the arrow hits the target, the two scanners will run vertically and horizontally, respectively, to calculate the distance between the arrow and the center of the target. The accuracy of the system reaches 0.2 mm, which is beyond the reach of the human eye. At the same time, the system runs very fast, and can give results within 1 second after the arrow target is hit.
In addition to the new timing technology mentioned above, Omega prepared a total of more than 450 tons of timing equipment, 200 kilometers of cables, 335 special sports scoreboards, 79 public scoreboards, and 480 professional timekeepers for the Olympic Games. And 850 trained volunteers. Committed to providing all dedicated athletes with perfect timing services, allowing them to compete freely and fairly on the Olympic arena, an important stage in their lives.