Megvii AI Technology Aims to Make Beijing Winter Olympics Smarter

During the ongoing Beijing Winter Olympics, local technology firm Megvii has been providing a range of artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR)-related applications, including a precise navigation tool and pandemic control functions, to streamline operations and enhance the experience of athletes, audience and staff members.

At China’s National Stadium (also known as the Bird’s Nest) where the Games’ opening ceremony was held, as well as the National Speed Skating Oval, an “intelligent guide application” has been launched to provide on-call navigation services with accurate positioning. The application has been developed by Megvii, combining AI and AR technologies.

Audiences in large venues often encounter difficulties related to finding directions. After entering a venue, attendees can now connect to Megvii’s app with their smartphone, using the camera function to collect information from their surrounding environment. After inputing their desired  destination, the system will directly generate an appropriate route for attendees to follow, according to directions, signs and arrows displayed on the AR map.

According to Megvii engineers participating in the Winter Olympics project, this intelligent navigation system can easily obtain positions by taking pictures with mobile phones, even in a complex indoor environment. The app also supports offline positioning, which can enable smooth navigation in places with high traffic density where 5G and 4G networks are widely available. The AI and AR-based visual navigation realizes the interaction of virtual and real scenarios, thereby enhancing the user experience. The multi-source fusion navigation technology, based on vision, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS and other fusion algorithms, adapts to different environmental conditions and can achieve fast and accurate positioning.

“Compared with other indoor positioning technologies, indoor visual positioning technology has high precision and is easy to deploy. Indoor building environments won’t need to be changed or upgraded. With laser visual map acquisition equipment collecting the environment’s information, the positioning can be realized,” claims the firm. Megvii engineers added that the indoor visual positioning and navigation system it has developed does not require too many devices, additional sensors or auxiliary positioning equipment in indoor environments. It can work on a single smartphone, giving it a low-cost advantage.

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In addition, in order to minimize risks to public health amid the persistent COVID-19 pandemic, the current Winter Olympics are incorporating a series of technological means to realize closed-loop management of the entire event. Among such measures, Megvii has provided smart pandemic prevention tools allowing for rapid non-inductive temperature measurement and health code verification. This helps to reduce potential case detection time from minutes to seconds.

Founded in 2011, Megvii is headquartered in Beijing. It is an AI company focusing on Internet of Things (IoT) scenarios, providing solutions for consumer industries, smart cities and supply chains.