Today marks the beginning of the 2012 Olympic Games. But the journey to reach this day started a long time ago. The Olympic Games is arguably one of the largest sporting events and requires careful planning and preparation years in advance—yes, years.
New stadiums need to be constructed to house the festivities; public transportation needs to be updated to accommodate the masses of people that will flood the city; and the government needs to determine the best methods by which to maintain order.
While the sporting activities tend to steal most of the headlines, sometimes what goes on behind the scenes can be quite telling.
I have heard many rumblings throughout the past few months about how connected devices and M2M (machine-to-machine) technology will be more apparent at this year’s Games.
One example: Heathrow announced plans to bring a new system to security checkpoints. The tech uses facial recognition to compare the passenger’s face to the digital image recorded in the passport. The hope was to have the system up and running in time for the Olympics, but there have been delays due to a time-intensive investigation into border check controversies in the United Kingdom.
Another example: Alexander Dennis, one of the U.K.’s largest bus and coach manufacturers, and Kings Ferry, a U.K. coach operator, will be using technology to detect dangerous driving behavior. In addition, vehicle data can be transmitted in realtime and identify any mechanical failure before it happens, allowing public authorities to monitor a vehicle remotely.
Both examples center on a common theme: safety. The Olympics is a very high-profile event, which undoubtedly requires a heightened level of security. And M2M technology can certainly offer the means to do that.
In the case of the public-transportation vehicles, M2M allows for constant monitoring of fleets through cellular modules from Telit Wireless Solutions that wirelessly transmit driver and mechanical-performance data.
The use of such a system during big-time events such as the Olympics can help propel the M2M industry forward. Dominikus Hierl, chief marketing officer, Telit Wireless Solutions, says in a statement that the use of its technology for the Olympic Games proves the growing significance of M2M and its combined benefits—specifically in the realm of public safety and personal security.
So as the Games begin—even though you probably won’t be able to see it on the broadcast—keep in mind that M2M technology is all around, providing greater security and safety for travelers and Olympians.