Olympics fever has most definitely gripped the nation – if the JK office, and of course all those headlines, are anything to go by. And whilst I was concerned, and frankly dreading, the onslaught of tourists on our already crippled London transport network, I have to say that I too have been taken over by Team GB-itis.
After all, what’s not to love? All those gold medals, the fantastic Olympic Park, the sudden swelling of national pride - it’s quite simply been marvellous. And that’s not even mentioning the incredible technology running in the background to make all this possible. From Visa’s contactless payments, to the technology behind our cycling team’s success,from the ticketing website to the BBC’s endless Olympics coverage – London 2012 can safely be declared a technical success (well, maybe aside from the website which has been a source of much personal pain).
Indeed, if you were to compare this to 1948, when the Olympics was last held in London, the games are quite unrecognisable. We’ve already highlighted the fact that this is the first social Olympics, but what about the fact that this is our first multiscreen Olympics?
Over the past few years we’ve seen the way in which we consume content dramatically alter. Long gone are the days of setting your VCR to record your favourite programme. Now you simply watch the content on the go, or on catch-up tv, or even text your SkyBox to tell it to record it for you. The Olympics has been no different and indeed the BBC has been laying the groundwork over the past couple of years to ensure that their IT infrastructure is ready to make this first Digital Olympics a success.
With 24 live HD TV channels on the go broadcasting every single second of Olympic action, the BBC has the games covered. It has increased its capacity to ensure that it can cope with a spike in traffic to its website, and it has the appropriate bandwidth to support the increased volume of content being transmitted over numerous devices. And it hasn’t disappointed.
So for those of us who haven’t been as lucky as Claire Ayles and been to pretty much every Olympic event going, paint a big fat Union Jack on your cheek, sit yourself down on a sofa ready to cheer on the great Team GB for a final weekend of Olympics’ coverage, and thank your lucky stars for the BBC and all its wonderful content.