Texting Clogs Cycling GPS Trackers at Olympics

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Olympic visitors were told on Sunday to avoid non-urgent text messages and tweets during events because O2’s data network became overloaded, preventing the bike’s GPS data from getting through to broadcasters.

Commentators on Saturday’s men’s cycling road race were unable to tell viewers how the cyclists were doing because the data from tiny GPS transmitters on the bikes were unable to transmit though clogged pipes.

IOC Communications Director Mark Adams told The Guardian; it appeared the problem lay with oversubscription, and talks had taken place in an attempt to share more of the data. “It’s a network issue, and it is that which we are working on,” he said.

There are 10 Olympic track cycling events (five for each gender) that will be held in the purpose built velodrome. There are two road cycling races at London 2012: the road race and time trial. BMX cycling events will also be held.

MapMyTracks has a live map of the Road Race, scheduled for the first and second days of the full sport competition of the Olympic Games. TorchTracker used GPS to track the location of the Olympic Torch.

In other Olympic news, a bridge connecting London’s West Ham tube station to the Olympic Park will light up from the millions of feet traversing the bridge. The kinetic energy of footspteps is turned into light, using Pavegen tiles. The tiles only move 5 millimeters when stepped on, so daytime pedestrians may barely even notice them without looking down. A surplus of 30 percent is stored in batteries as contingency.

The slabs also have wireless transmitters, allowing pedestrians to use their computers or smart phones to see how much energy is being generated.

David Stubbs, head of sustainability at the London Organizing Committee, put it this way: “We want people coming to the Games to be able to do their bit for the environment and this is a great example where, literally in a few steps, people can actively contribute towards making these truly sustainable Games.” London 2012 is the first Olympics to measure its carbon footprint over the entire project term;

The widespread use of energy-efficient technology is one of the main features of London 2012. “This foot-powered lighting system for one of the main walkways into the Olympic Park … will really get people thinking about how an individual can make a difference, while getting to and from their events,” said transport director, Hugh Sumner.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Monday, July 30th, 2012 at 7:27 am .

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