Russians to Employ Latest IT Innovations at Winter Olympics

Sign for Sochi 2014

The Winter Olympics are generally a time when athletes are able to go head to head, proving their capabilities in some intense competition. While that may be the usual association that people have with these games, information technology professionals may also view this occasion as an opportunity to check out the most revolutionary trends in IT used in locales throughout the world. With this year’s Olympics in Russia, individuals in the tech field may be on the lookout for the latest innovations that their Slavic counterparts are employing as they host the 2014 games.

One of the main concerns that the Russians may be addressing with sophisticated IT solutions during the Sochi festivities is security. Because the Olympics is such a major international event, there may be higher risks of an incident occurring. However, the Russians are bringing their A-game when it comes to surveillance, and the use of technology is going to help them ensure that all athletes and attendees are safe and sound during their stay in Sochi.

InformationWeek reported that the Russians have all their bases covered, thanks to technology. Some of the most incredible IT advancements to be implemented as security measures at the Winter Olympics include facial recognition devices, drones and even submarine surveillance crafts that can detect any kind of activity that may be happening beneath the water. On top of all these tools, the Russians are increasing their use of innovation to perform a variety of functions not related to safety, ranging from keeping score at events to sending out mass media messages to even generating enough snow to ensure the games will go on.

Face the IT facts
In today’s day and age, unfortunately, it is not unheard of for technology to be used with bad intentions. For instance, a person may be capable of forging all kinds of documents, including official identification. Bearing this in mind, the Russians have decided to take screening one step further with Artec ID’s Broadway 3D Face Recognition System.

After landing in Sochi, travelers could be subjected to identity checks from these machines, which can pick them out from the crowd no matter the accessories they are wearing or how fast they are walking. This system is so precise that it can even differentiate identical twins. With this IT innovation, local authorities hope to be able to pinpoint potential suspects in the case of a threat or incident, which would significantly contribute to driving security during the Olympics.

Games to be full of network interceptions
As chief information officers and IT professionals of any level are well aware, any type of network communications that is not properly protected can be infiltrated. Although Russian authorities want to defend their own data and ensure that no one can access their own messages, they also plan to be on the prowl for other networks used as suspicious communications channels.

For this reason, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation hopes to employ a system named SORM to intercept virtual communications, according to InformationWeek. There is an entire network of organizations, each of which holds pieces to this system’s puzzle, making it challenging for outsiders to somehow circumnavigate its reach. Consequently, this system is bound to come across all kinds of messages, which will help the government thwart any plans of attack during the 2014 games.

Just add snow
As the Russians keep everyone at ease with their heightened security tools, these hosts can then direct their attention toward other matters contributing to the success of the Winter Olympics. For example, a number of events cannot take place unless there is snow on the ground – conditions that Sochi officials can guarantee with the use of some IT solutions.

InformationWeek explained that even though the Russians have managed to collect 16 million cubic feet of snow in preparation for the Olympics, they are going the extra mile by employing snow cannons to ensure that all of their slopes are blanketed in enough snow – albeit man-made – so that no issues pop up during certain games. In light of this venture, IT professionals can see that advancements within their field are greatly contributing to the 2014 Winter Olympics going off without a hitch, and in more ways than one.

Marie Larsen
Marie is a writer for She has an educational background in languages and literature. She covers IT trends and executive technology management topics for the company.