The 2018 Winter Olympics, scheduled from February 9-25 in PyeongChang, South Korea, is right around the corner. In this edition of the Engineering360 news brief, we'll take a look at some ways in which technology will impact the Games, enhancing the experience for fans and athletes alike.


First, communications. With an average speed of 28.6 megabytes per second, South Korea already has the fastest broadband in the world. At the Games, 5G technology – the foundation for the coming era of massive connectivity and the internet of things – will be on display in what is being called the world's largest 5G showcase. Tech giant Intel partnered with South Korean communications service provider KT Corporation in order to develop infrastructure that will allow live streaming and 360-degree virtual reality views at connectivity speeds of up to 20 gigabytes per second. Learn more.


Next, transportation. In November the South Korean government announced the completion of a $3.7 billion "bullet train" line, the Korea Train Express or KTX, running to PyeongChang from stations in and around the capital city of Seoul. The trains, built by Hyundai, will travel at approximately 300 kilometers per hour and reduce travel time from three hours to around 69 minutes. Meanwhile, Samsung announced in December that a wireless broadband internet service developed specifically for public transportation is now live on KTX — the first time a service like that has been deployed on a high-speed train. Learn more.

Wearable Technology

Finally, wearable technology. The Olympics will see multi-directional impact protection (MIPS) helmets worn by some members of the U.S. Ski Team; smart suits embedded with sensors used for training on members of the Dutch speed skating team; and inflatable "airbag vests" worn on a large number of competitors. And credit card giant Visa is launching a new line of wearable devices, including a glove with a built-in, dual-interface chip and contactless antenna. It will enable fans to make payments at Olympic venues without getting cold hands.

Now remember to check out Engineering360 and Electronics360 for more news and information like this – plus engineering reference guides, product spec sheets and videos of interest. Mark your calendars for the Winter Olympics!