Sochi Goes Mobile: Tracking the Olympics

Feb 19, 2014 in Mobile

A culture of media innovation surrounds the XXII Olympic Winter Games. After all, the official logo for the games features the URL sochi.ru, making it the very first Olympic logo to take the form of a web address. As The New Yorker recently pointed out, “[W]hen the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee unveiled the logo, it described it as representing ‘the first digital brand in the history of the Olympic Movement.’” In this Olympic atmosphere charged with technological zeal, it is no surprise that a plethora of exciting mobile applications, streaming capabilities and even interactive digital art installations have surfaced over the course of these games.

When it comes to following Sochi on a mobile device, users have an abundance of applications at their disposal. First of all, there is the Organizing Committee’s official Sochi 2014 Results app, which bills itself as “your personal Media Center of the Games in Sochi!” With its spread of real-time event statistics, competition results and medal counts, this app certainly satisfies the gang of data enthusiasts here at GoSpotCheck. For those actually present at the games, the Committee’s Sochi 2014 guide app gives users access to event schedules, ticketing and interactive mapping tools. And for those rooting from home, AT&T offers the #ItsOurTime app, which allows users to record themselves cheering on their team and to send messages of support to Olympic athletes.

In terms of viewing the games, there are several mobile streaming applications available. NBC Sports Live Extra—which streams every available event live, as well as full replays of completed competitions—requires users to log in with their cable or satellite television provider credentials. NBC has also launched its Olympic Highlights and Results app, which is chock full of video highlights. And if you are watching on television and want to avoid spoilers over the course of the day before tuning into NBC’s nightly coverage, The New York Times has highlighted two shielding apps to combat the pitfalls of tape delay—Bloko and Spoiler Shield.

This surge of mobile applications and streaming in the Olympic context, as the BBC points out, “entails building a robust backbone infrastructure—routers, switches and the like—which can power seven virtual networks channeling data securely to the right audiences.” Indeed, the same article points out that “[T]he rise in the use of such data-transmitting sensors and mobile devices has led to a surge in data collection and usage. . . this Winter Olympics is the most technologically complex, data-intensive Games ever.” As the Sochi Games indicate, the mobile data collection revolution is now, and here at GoSpotCheck we are putting that revolution into action every day with our powerfully simple and innovative application.