NZ tech at the 2012 London Olympics

NZ tech at the 2012 London Olympics
We're on the cusp of Olympic kick-off. How many medals will New Zealand bring home? Ten? Twelve? Sixteen, as Sports Illustrated optimistically predicts?

We're on the cusp of Olympic kick-off. How many medals will New Zealand bring home? Ten? Twelve? Sixteen, as Sports Illustrated optimistically predicts?

Only time will tell. But one thing's for sure, Kiwis – and not just our competing athletes – are playing a part in the games.

On the radio

The state of London transport has been called into question, but its bus network had a communications upgrade prior to the Olympics in anticipation of that.

New Zealand's own Tait Radio Communications replaced London Buses' ageing radio network with a Kiwi designed and manufactured system, to ensure optimal voice communications between bus drivers and dispatchers.

All at sea

The New Zealand Olympic yachting team has been using YachtBot, a product from Dunedin's Igtimi Ltd, as a coaching tool.

YachtBot analyses performance over time, looking at real time wind speed, direction, GPS position and heart rate and communication information, with the GPS-based training system enabling every move made by the yacht and its sailors to be tracked, recorded, analysed, and remedied by coaches in real time using mobile devices.

It was a finalist in the 2012 Hi-Tech Awards and was used in the in-port Volvo Ocean Race series, and successfully employed in television coverage of the 2010 Americas Cup, enabling millions of spectators to watch the racing live.

Emergency response

Auckland company Optima Corporation produces software that informs ambulance operators where they need to send vehicles and how many paramedics they need to service each part of a region. 

Optima's technology takes into account variables like traffic, weather and road quality, according to the Herald.

And it's now being used in Essex and Hertfordshire, where Olympic mountain biking and canoe slalom events will be held, thanks to a deal with the East of England ambulance service.

End goal

When the Olympic hockey competition kicks off, some 70 percent of goalkeepers will be protected by OBO gear.

The Palmerston North company manufactures world-beating gear for field hockey goalies.

Both New Zealand’s hockey goalkeepers, Kyle Pontifex and Bianca Russell, will be sporting OBO gear at the Olympics – Pontifex works part-time for the firm to provide feedback. Its high-tech impact laboratory includes a set-up that takes video footage at 22,000 frames per second to capture the impact of a hockey ball hitting a dummy’s head.

Game on

And on a lighter note, the clever clogs at Wellington studio Resn, with Paris agency CLM BBDO, came up with a series of seven online games for French energy company EDF, official partner of the 2012  Olympics.

CLM BBDO and Resn tied the Light Games into EDF's business and commitment to the Olympics: “Bringing light to make the athletes shine brighter”, as the company powers the 2012 Olympics with low carbon electricity.

From kayaking to fencing, long jump to archery, cycling to rowing and swimming, the web and iPad games bring the sports to you.

Resn chose to reinvent the way the humble computer mouse is used for gaming – its solution, believed to be an Olympic first, was to track the mouse light (or mobile phone) with a user’s webcam, making the optical light the controller.

To top it off, a real live touch screen version of the game has been installed at the EDF Pavillon in London.

Have we missed any Kiwi tech involved in the Olympics? Let us know.

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