Brandi Bleak


Rio 2016 - Drones, Accommodations , & Wearables

Apps, Health, Technology, OlympicsBrandi BleakComment

The Olympic Games will be held in Rio this summer, from August 5th - 21st. Although everyone will be focused on the sports, medals, and athletes, the technology that powers the city and allows us to watch every event, is substantial. Read below for some of my favorite innovative uses of technology. First, start by taking a peek at my previous post, which includes a link to download the official Olympics 2016 mobile app.


A few weeks ago, GE kicked off #DRONEWEEK 2016 from the Brazil Technology Center in Rio. They began the week with a synchronized ballet of drones, over the skies of Rio, at sunset. The company utilized Periscope, another innovative technology, to give viewers new perspectives of the city that will host this year's Olympic Games. The videos were live during the week of June 14-17, but you can view the beautiful footage and learn about some of the technology involved, below. 


In the last six years, the hotel occupancy in Rio has doubled. Even with that availability, visitors could choose to select from more than 25,000 options the AirBnB app has to offer. The app allows users to enter where they want to stay, how long, their budget and if they want to share the home or have the entire place to themselves. With options ranging from $10-$1000, AirBnB lets travelers get a sense of actually living in the city versus the commercial feeling of a hotel. Quite a different experience if you're looking to see the games in person! 

On a similar note, the dating app Tinder usually has a peak in popularity during the Olympic Games. Many people say there could be an unprecedented number of users taking advantage of the app's technology in Rio this year. Stay tuned!


Payment company Visa, in partnership with a bank in Brazil, has launched a bracelet that visitors can use to pay for goods and services. This innovative use of a form of contactless payment can be used at more than 4,000 point-of-sale terminals at Olympic venues. The wearable technology uses Near Field Communications (NFC) and will operate through a prepaid system. Users can pay for items less than R$50 ($14.50) without the need to enter a PIN. 

In addition to the bracelet, Visa has also introduced a payment ring that will be given to 45 athletes that are sponsored by the company. The water resistant ring is functional without recharging or the use of a battery. Using a more unfamiliar token technology, the NFC ring replaces users account numbers, or similar private information, with a unique digital identifier that can be used to process payments.

Google Street View

A partnership between Rio 2016 and Google will allow fans to see the Olympic Game venues in a new way. It's the first time the Olympics will get a 360-degree view of the stadiums, arenas and pools through using the Google Street View. 

Using state-of-the-art technology, Google has gathered images that are only accessible by foot by sending in their "Trekker". The technology uses multiple cameras, a trolley, and a technician to collect images to present to viewers around the world. This summer, those who are unable to visit Rio in person will have an up close look at each of the 37 venues where the events will occur.

The venues below can now all be explored on Google Street View. 

1) Maracanã
2) Sambódromo
3) Olympic Stadium
4) Lagoa Stadium
5) Fort Copacabana
6) Youth Arena
7) Olympic Shooting Centre
8) Olympic Equestrian Centre
9) Olympic BMX Centre
10) Mountain Bike Centre
11) Whitewater Stadium
12) Olympic Hockey Centre
13) Olympic Golf Course
14) Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre
15) Future Arena
16) Olympic Aquatics Stadium
17) Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador
18) Mané Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia
19) Amazônia Arena in Manaus
20) Mineirão in Belo Horizonte
21) Corinthians Arena in São Paulo


The company will supply 4,500 vehicles that will implement the use of clean energy (either ethanol or electricity) to transport clients, such as athletes, technical officials, media, operational teams and National Olympic Committees.

Electronic Medical Record

Thanks to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), all athletes and spectators in Rio will be able to have their health interactions managed by an electronic medical record (EMR).

Although this is no where near the most innovative This may be my personal favorite, as I simply don't understand why everyone hasn't adopted this technology.