Five Fascinating Tech Facts About the 2014 Sochi Olympics

The 2014 Sochi Olympics is a story of record-breaking figures, including its $51 billion price tag, a new high of 98 total events across 15 winter sport disciplines, and a record 88 nations competing.

But some of the most fascinating stories are these innovative tech contributions by companies at this year's Games.

Here are five pieces of technology that make the 2014 Sochi Olympics a showcase for amazing advancement.

Five of the Coolest Tech Contributions at Sochi 2014

No. 1: Snowboarding jackets from Burton and the U.S. Army. The winter gear company paired up with the U.S. Army Natick Army Labs to create DRYRIDE Vaporshell laminate. The material makes up the U.S. Olympic snowboarding team's jackets and was designed specifically for Sochi.

"Sochi is actually a pretty warm area, so we had a great waterproof exterior, but we also wanted the coats to be breathable," Burton's Colin Alger said to The Boston Globe. "This is a technology where they can layer if they need to."

The new technology will be made available to the mass market for the company's 2015 line, to debut in fall of this year.

No. 2: Under Armour's and Lockheed Martin's "Mach 39" speed skating suit. The joint venture to create the U.S. long track speed skating uniforms took two years of research and testing. Engineers used high-speed cameras and wind-tunnels to create dynamic models to examine air flow around the body while in its key speed skating positions.

The resulting suit has five different types of fabrics, a slippery surface to reduce drag, and embedded bead-like structures that are meant to enhance aerodynamics.

Under Armour also made the U.S. men's and women's bobsled uniforms and the Canadian freestyle ski and snowboard cross teams uniforms.

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No. 3: A BMW bobsled. It began with sketches. A slew of 3D designs followed, each undergoing computational fluid dynamics tests for aerodynamics. Once a shape landed the top spot, the BMW crew turned it into a reality.

Sixty-nine iterations later, Team USA got a bobsled from BMW that is 50 lbs lighter, more maneuverable, and tougher than their previous sled.

No. 4: Bobsled sensors from Omega. The luxury watchmaker added a unit comprised of speed, 3D acceleration, and gyro-sensors that make each run's data immediately available to viewers and teams for the first time ever. Speed, angular velocity, and level of force acted on the driver are all captured by the device.

The data is then wirelessly transmitted for instant analysis, adding to the excitement of viewers and also helping athletes perfect their runs.

No. 5: NBC's Online Streaming. NBC has adapted to the rise of smartphones and tablets - the 2014 Olympics are a multi-device event.

Compared to London 2012, where only the majority of events were available for online viewing, NBC upped its game and is covering all Sochi 2014 Olympic events. And it's likely to pay off.

The network has already said it's made $50 million in digital ads.

And looking back to London 2012, the network netted the largest audience in online media's history. Opening ceremonies dominated 34% of all Internet traffic for the duration. NBC's free, easy-to-use Olympics app was downloaded on 9.9 million mobile devices, and 17% of all Olympic viewers watched the Games online, according to a Pew Research report.

No doubt, this Games' numbers will break new records for online viewing.

The Sochi Olympics started Feb. 7; the closing ceremonies will be held Feb. 23.  

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