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Digitizing the Special Olympics 2019

Published Mar 31, 2019

The Special Olympics World Games 2019 in Abu Dhabi was billed as the world’s largest sporting and humanitarian event of the year, bringing together 7,500 athletes from 190 countries – as well as 20,000 volunteers and up to 500,000 spectators.

This global event, which took place for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa region from 14-21 March, was also an important step in creating a fairer and more inclusive society, where every single person is accepted and welcomed, whatever their abilities.

The Special Olympics takes place every two years and alternates between summer and winter.

As an official supporter of the Games, Kapcite (by K&A) had the pleasure to contribute to the digital deployment of smart technologies at the Games, by providing a suite of Geographic Information System (GIS) wayfinding tools aimed at improving the experiences of event visitors. Given the number of international visitors descending on Abu Dhabi at the same time, this service was a top priority to help create a truly seamless, world-class event.

Those tools included Digital Kiosks that provide simple search and navigation options for visitors and participants to easily find their way around inside each venue. These touch screen kiosks contain a map window located at the center of the screen, which displays different building sections, landmarks and points of interests. The solution is utilized ESRI‘s technology for its powerful mapping and location analytics capabilities.

Kapcite Special Olympics 2019 Kiosk

Augmented Reality Feature

In addition, Kapcite provided the advanced technology behind the official wayfinding mobile application that included chatbot functionality through which users could perform searches or view information about the venue, timings, and activities directly from their mobile. Augmented Reality (AR) functionality was also deployed on mobile apps to provide an interactive experience, allowing visitors to explore content and gain another level of understanding while moving inside the venues.

Kapcite Special Olympics 2019 Augmented Reality

Analytics Dashboard

Last but not least comes the analytics part, namely location analytics, which is the visual way of interpreting and analyzing the information being portrayed by the data when used in conjunction with GIS. Kapcite provided the Analytical Dashboard utilizing GIS technology, enabling the creation of event statistical reports and displays, such statistics in multiple graphs and charts (as shown in the below figure).

Kapcite Special Olympics 2019 Dashboard

Smart tools like these are set to become commonplace at major events around the world. And of course, they can be applied to other settings as well, such as retail centers, university campuses, airports, or even industrial facilities, to name just a few.

According to Manal Sayed, the senior director of Kapcite’s Geospatial Systems Integration team, there is now strong momentum behind the adoption of smart technologies:

We’re only at the start of a very exciting journey for smart city tools, but demand from clients is increasing rapidly as their potential to enhance user experience is becoming better understood.

Manal Sayed

The success of emerging smart technologies will be determined by how useful they are, together with their intuitiveness and ease of use. Those that don’t fit these criteria will simply not be adopted!

Manal Sayed

For more information about Kapcite’s Digital wayfinding solutions, checkout our Way+ page.