Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Sports

Artist's illustration of the proposed Al-Shamal Stadium to be built in Ash-Shamal, Qatar f...

With the World Cup always held in the European off-season in June and July, the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar offers the prospect of players and spectators sweating through the hottest part of the year. Doha sees an average top temperature of 41 degrees Celsius (106°F) in these months with the possibility of top temperatures as high as 50°C (122°F). While shifting the World Cup to the cooler month of January has been mooted and since rejected, a team of engineering scientists from Qatar University (QU) have taken a more high-tech approach to solving the problem – they've reportedly developed a type of artificial "cloud" designed to float above the World Cup venues and provide fans and players with relief from the blazing sun.  Read More

Mario Azurza and Aritz Aranburu with the high-tech surfboard

In an activity that for many of its participants is akin to a religion, the merging of surfing and technology might seem a bit like blasphemy. But while surfing is still about lifestyle for many of us, these days it's also a competitive sport offering huge amounts of prize money, so it's no surprise to see the emergence of boards packing more than just polyurethane within their fiberglass shells. With the aim of "turning feelings into facts and figures", research company Tecnalia and Spanish surfboard manufacturer Pukas have teamed up to create a surfboard that packs a gyroscope, accelerometer, GPS compass, pressure sensors and strain gauges to measure the flex of the board – but no headlights.  Read More

Audi 's carbon fiber prototype skis

If you can buy Porsche bicycles, Lamborghini hard drives, or spend a day at the Ferrari World amusement park, then why shouldn’t you be able to snap on a pair of Audi skis? You may soon have the chance, given the reported success of the German automaker’s experiment with its Audi Carbon Ski concept. Designed and developed at Audi Concept Design in Munich, the downhill skis were created in collaboration with specialists from ski-making company Head, and the German Ski Association. The result is an ultra-lightweight ski that is said to offer premium performance.  Read More

The RoboPutt vending machine that dispenses putting lessons

It seems you can get just about anything from vending machines these days. From shoes to flowers and ice cream to gold it can all be had by slotting a bit of cash into a machine – or in the case of the gold vending machine, a lot of cash or a credit card with a decent limit. Now there’s another unlikely vending machine offering in the form of the RoboPutt, a robotic vending machine that will dole out a five minute putting lesson for the cost of a decent golf ball.  Read More

In the new racquet game of 360ball, players hit a ball into a central concave dish, trying...

It’s kind of like table tennis, kind of like squash, and looks like it would definitely be a good workout – it’s 360ball, a new racquet sport out of South Africa. Games are played on a circular court by two players, or two teams of two players, who are situated around a central concave deflecting disc. Players hit the ball into the disc, trying to do so in such a way that when it bounces out, their opponent(s) won’t be able to reach it. Unlike tennis, say, there are no designated sides on which players have to remain. Instead, everyone is allowed to move 360 degrees around the disc as play dictates ... hence the name.  Read More

Dainese is bringing its D-Air wearable airbag technology to Alpine slopes

Dainese has signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Ski Federation (FIS) to bring its D-Air wearable airbag technology to Alpine slopes. The project is currently in early stages of testing where the dynamics of ski racing are being investigated in order to tailor the existing motorcycle-specific technology to the needs of ski racers.  Read More

Recon Instruments has announced plans for its next generation of in-goggle display technol...

If you thought that the Transcend Ski Goggles featuring head mounted display technology were special, then you're going to love what Recon Instruments currently has under development. The company sees its next generation iteration being capable of wirelessly connecting with smartphones and video cameras, of displaying detailed trail maps and of being able to locate and track friends and family on the slopes.  Read More

When worn so that it runs down the spine, the Corsuit is claimed to help with posture

Some view the development of swimsuits that help athletes to go faster as a natural evolution of the sport, but others believe that training and technique should be the deciding factor that separates winners from losers. After seeing numerous world records get smashed by suited up swimmers, the sport's governing body decided to side with the latter camp and put the brakes on the high tech sportswear. The Corsuit however, is not designed to be worn during competition, and its inventor believes it could help swimmers to achieve natural speed advantages without breaking any rules.  Read More

Mattrack's Powerboard

If you like the idea of zipping across the landscape on a stand-up tracked vehicle, but find the likes of the DTV Shredder and Scarpar just a little too intimidating, then you might like the Mattracks Powerboard. Designed specifically for use on snow, the device features one continuous snowmobile-type rubber track on the bottom, that is powered by a mid-mounted 200CC 4-cycle gas engine. Delivering a top speed of 18mph (29kph), this thing probably isn’t going to be appearing in any sports drink ads anytime soon, but it still looks like it could be fun.  Read More

The DTV (Dual Tracked Vehicle) Shredder

Twenty-one year-old Canadian Ben Gulak heads up BPG Werks, a company that is developing this seriously fun looking vehicle called the DTV Shredder. Like the Scarpar Powerboard, the Shredder is an all-terrain tracked vehicle that the rider stands on, like a skateboard – or in this case, a mini-tank. What sets it apart is its larger size, handlebars, and an in-development 48hp rotary combustion engine that should allow for a top speed of over 97km/h (60mph).  Read More

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