Friday, August 5, 2016, marks the start of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games, which take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and run through Sunday, August 21. Omega Watches once again – for the 28th time — acts as the Official Timekeeper of the Olympics – and is more than ready with incredible new state-of-the-art timing technology, and with new watches honoring the prestigious Olympic Games.
Omega first served as the Official Timekeeper for the Los Angeles Games in 1932. In this role, Omega has developed some of the most exacting timing and photography systems to capture the winning moments with utter precision. In 1948, at the London Olympic Games, Omega unveiled the world’s first photo-finish camera, which it dubbed the Magic Eye. Since then revolutionary new systems have been unveiled, including automatic touch pads in swimming pools, false-start detection devices for track and field, new starting devices, new starting pistols, and more.
In fact, each year, Omega strives to continually improve the timing equipment to be as precise as possible. This year, Omega unveils even more new technology. Perhaps top among the new systems the Omega Scan’O’Vision Myria camera that is a combination of a time detector and a chronograph. It takes up to 10,000 digital images per second at the critical finish of track and field races — just to ensure the athletes and the judges that there is no question whatsoever about the winner.
Additionally, this year Omega unveils new Photocell technology with four cells instead of two to detect more body movement and patterns, new and improved scoreboards and new golf scoreboards, since golf makes it return to the Olympic Games this year for the first time in more than a century.
The technology involved in timing is vast, with hundreds of cameras, thousands of sensors and timing that counts to 1/10,000th of a second – which, in some instances is crucially needed. Omega brings in nearly 500 trained professionals who not only run miles of cable and fiber optics, but also operate the 450 tons of equipment, including 335 scoreboards. The Omega timing is a precise science that delivers immediate information from the event venue and delivers it within three seconds to the public.
Naturally, to celebrate its role in timing the Olympics, Omega also has brand ambassadors participating in the Olympic Games and has created an entire escape for its VIP guests attending the Games. The brand has rented Rio’s Casa de Cultura, Laura Alvim, a bulding with strong architecture and exquisite views across one of the world’s most famed beaches. The brand has re-imagined the space to become the Omega House, with a different decor and a different Omega story and involvement represented in each room.
The brand also has created three watches celebrating Rio 2016. We will bring you a close-up look at those next week.