Olympics 2008 and the power of Technology

When Coroebus of Elis won the first Olympic sprint in 776 BC, the result was scratched on to parchment and read out in market places in the following days and weeks.

This year, the Olympic 100 metres champion will be announced immediately, to billions worldwide, via a click of the mouse or a curious buzzing in their pocket. Thanks to new technology, the Beijing Olympics will be accessible to more people than ever before, and in increasingly diverse ways.

Office workers, instead of waiting for evening TV bulletins, can watch races live on their computers. Other fans will sign up for text alerts and video feeds to their mobile phones. And for those who missed it, all the action will be easily — and quickly — available on video sites like YouTube. t all adds up to a new approach to following the Games, eroding the traditional method of simply watching on TV.

Hong Kong firm i-Cable is among a group of companies, including US giant NBC, Japan’s NHK and China’s CCTV, to snap up the Olympics’ first ever new media broadcasting rights.

Viewers here can log on to free live broadcasts online, and enjoy no-charge access to the i-Cable website at 800 WiFi hotspots in coffee shops, restaurants and shopping centres.

Experts say the new approach is causing a revolution in viewing habits and a shift away from the TV set, with events like the Olympics acting as a catalyst.


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