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5 remarkable gadgets making their debut at the Rio Olympics

5 remarkable gadgets making their debut at the Rio Olympics

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio are about to open and the two-week spectacle promises to showcase the finest athletes around the world.

It is also the time to keep an eye out for the newest in broadcast and sports equipment and consumer technology that will be on full display at the Games.

Here are a few of the groundbreaking gadgets and technologies that will push the competition to new heights.

1. Laser-Cut Swimsuits

USA Swim Team


The USA swimming team will don Speedo's LZR Racer X swimsuits in Rio. These kits are said to allow for more freedom of movement and higher body compression with their "one-way stretch" fabric.

The women's suits feature laser-cut precision straps that sit higher and  X-shaped back seams that were designed to support the major muscles of the thigh, back and shoulders.

It will be interesting to see how much quicker the Team USA swimmers will be with this new fancy swimwear.

2. 360 Virtual Reality Streaming

Samsung VR

Four years ago, the broadcast buzzword for the 2012 London Olympics was 3D. For the Rio games, it's high definition "virtual reality" 360-view broadcasts.

NBC will broadcast the opening and closing ceremonies plus select Olympic games in VR to Samsung Gear VR headset equipped smartphones via the NBC Sports app.

We are hoping they'll provide feeds to non-Samsung phone and headset owners too. It will be fun to watch the events with the cheap Google Cardboard instead.

3. Pay Bracelets and Rings

Visa Payment

Contactless payment technology will be front and center in the Rio games. Visa will provide payment bands and they are also issuing 59 athletes special payment rings to use around the venues.

They will be equipping about 4,000 payment machines at the games with near-field communication (NFC) chips to facilitate contactless payments so everyone could buy their drinks, food and souvenirs without taking out their wallets.

With all these wearables, cash and credit cards might look old-fashioned in Rio.

4. Nike Cooling Mask

Nike Cooling Hood

American decathlon athlete Ashton Eaton will be showcasing Nike's new cooling mask.

The funky Stormtrooper-looking hood is supposed to act like an ice box for the head and it will help athletes like Eaton recover and regulate their core body temperature more efficiently.

Don't expect to buy this soon, though. The mask is still a prototype and Eaton's feedback will be used to fine-tune the final product.

5. GPS Canoes


New to the 2016 Games are GPS-enabled canoes that will provide real-time location and telemetry data like speed and direction. The audience around the venue could then view the live feed of the races with all this information via big screens.

Exact kayak positions and speed statistics will surely inject fresh excitement to these canoe racing events.

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Source: The memo
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