Will technology win Olympic Gold?

In a sport where every 1/100th of a second counts, what does it take to bring home gold?

Speed is just one part of the equation. That’s why USA Cycling is leveraging cloud, data and mobile technology to take their training to the next level. With the 2016 Olympic Games about to begin in Rio, Team USA have partnered with IBM jStart to bring cutting-edge insights around power, biometrics and weather straight to their coaches and riders in real-time.

As any serious cyclist knows, constant analysis of speed, power, pacing and strategy all helps to maximise performance. The keen, amateur cyclist relies on apps and wearable technology to perform this role, but today’s professional bikes are fitted with special devices to gather data around power output, cadence and speed of the riders. The process of uploading and analysing all that data is time consuming though – taking several days or weeks after training sessions or competitions to analyse in detail.

By embracing mobile technology and an advanced IoT cloud solution, IBM has helped to bring an edge to Team USA’s training program through several critical touchpoints. During a training session, data is collected in real-time from multiple sources – the power meters, a heartrate monitor and a wearable BSX muscle oxygen sensor on the riders. IBM Bluemix IoT Foundation services capture the data in the IBM cloud, enabling real-time access for streaming analytics and data storage. Through IBM jStart iOS dashboards, the team receives insights on each rider - including the linked power watt, lap timing, muscle oxygenation and results of intensity analytics with respect to the rider’s individual physiology - right in the palm of their hands, to enable instant feedback and insights.

To take the power of real-time feedback even further, it will soon be possible to provide selected information to the riders during their training sessions by using Solos™ smart eyewear. Riders will receive customised insights through the Solos glasses to help them make the game-changing pacing and switching decisions that can make or break a team’s chance of winning.

Watch this video to hear more about how this technology is steering Team USA to a potential gold medal at Rio 2016

How can business build on Olympic success?

Taking this leading-edge technology beyond the world of cycling, today’s organisations can also look to solutions based around IBM Watson analytics - helping leverage business data to identify valuable insights and opportunities. Are you ready to enable predictive analytics, social data and mobile platforms to stay ahead of your biggest competitors?