The Director Speaks - "2028 Olympics' experience will need new technological capabilities"
This month the Olympic Committee formally announced that Los Angeles will host the Olympics in 2028 (with Paris hosting the 2024 Olympics). Ten years might seem sufficient to prepare but given the expected increases in technology, it is not. More specifically, we know the technology that will be available to us in the year 2028 will be far different from the technology of today. Technology rides on top of infrastructure and, while we could wait and use new technology on an old infrastructure base, instead I would suggest that we utilize the time and first organize a forward-looking infrastructure base so we can then put the new technology on top that infrastructure. Obviously, every person at the event will be streaming their experiences to friends and family at home. Drones, beacons, and interactive displays will be working together to manage the crowds and provide security oversight. With events being held at the Coliseum, Dedeaux Field, Galen Center, the Convention Center, Staples Center, City Hall, the LA Football Club, Microsoft Theater, and the USC Village, USC will be the obvious focal point for much of this tech-centric activity. For an event of this scale, I believe it is incumbent upon us to consider communications as an infrastructure component that is every bit as important as transportation or the facilities themselves. We should use the incremental time between now and 2028 to put an infrastructure in place that addresses the applications of the future will need. I am reminded of the time my son, patiently explained to me, “I (his dad) simply does not understand, but he needs technology to survive”. He and his generation are the people who will be attending the 2028 Olympics and we must consider how to make this an event that satisfies their needs. The events are certainly the primary attraction but the experience will be marred if the attendees are not able to augment their experiences with the technological capabilities they have come to expect.