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London 2012: Omega official timekeeper technology evolution.

WorldWide Tech & Science. Francisco De Jesùs.

London 2012: Omega official timekeeper technology evolution.

Accuracy down to the millionth second

Omega has been the official timekeeper of the Olympics for the last 80 years. Back in 1932, timekeepers used stopwatches that measured to the tenth of a second.

Omega via Getty Images
Omega unveiled the world's first independent, portable and water-resistant photoelectric cell used in London in 1948.

For the 1952 Helsinki Games, Omega began using electronic timing with the Omega Time Recorder.

Ahead of the 1964 Tokyo Games, the watchmaker developed the Omegascope in 1961, which showed each competitor's time on a TV screen. In 1962, Omega unveiled its contact pads used for timing swimming competitions.

By the 2008 Beijing Olympics, high-speed video cameras, capable of shooting 1,000 frames per second, were used in addition to the electronic timing system to help break ties.

In the 2010 Vancouver Games, the start pistol was replaced with an electronic starting gun.

At London, high-speed cameras can shoot 2,000 frames per second, double that of Beijing. Omega's Quantum Timer is able to provide accurate time readings down to the microsecond, or about one-millionth of a second, 100,000 times more accurate  than Omega’s technology in 1932.


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