tokyo olympics 2020

Intel unveils new technologies that will be trialled at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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CPU maker Intel has said it intends to demonstrate a variety of new technologies at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games including VR training, 3D athlete tracking and facial recognition systems, all underpinned by 5G technology.

The athlete tracking will use artificial intelligence to overlay “near real-time” visualisations on athletes’ bodies. Tilt-mounted cameras will be deployed for the system which will analyse the biomechanics of athlete movements.

The VR training will supposedly create an “immersive learning experience” that should improve training efficiency and will also include “digital twinning”.

The facial recognition system, dubbed NeoFace, will be used to identify over 300,000 people at the games, including athletes, volunteers, media and other staff for entry points of venues and accommodations. It should help to reduce wait times for ID checks and improve security at the site.

With Intel struggling with modest profit growth in recent years, the focus on the Olympics sees the firm tentatively exploring new markets to improve its situation.

After several years of trying to enter the smartphone sector by building CPUs and modems, in July Intel sold the majority of its modem business to Apple as the firm looks to reduce the reliance it has on Qualcomm technology in iPhones.

“This is a really good opportunity for us to showcase the microprocessor technologies that we have been developing for many years but also a lot of our work in software, in algorithms and broadcast enhancing experience,” Rick Echevarria, general manager of Intel’s Olympics programme, said at an event attended by members of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee.

The company will also host a four-day e-sport gaming tournament in Tokyo just before the Olympics open, with a $500,000 prize pool.

In 2017, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognised competitive computer gaming as a sport.

E-sports, which often pack sports stadiums and attract huge online audiences, are still considered a long way from becoming a formal part of the Olympics, but the IOC is keeping an open mind, to the chagrin of some Olympians.

E-sports are set to become a full medal event at the Asian Games in Hangzhou in 2022.

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