Computational creativity and the future of AI


Nick Notara's collapsible surfboard concept

June 2, 2008 Things that travel well on water are usually equally as cumbersome on dry land. We've seen collapsible solutions for larger craft like catamarans but what about the humble surfboard? Although modern designs are much less of a hassle to transport than the long boards of old, wrestling six feett of fiberglass into the back of the wagon, tying it to the roof, or even negotiating airports can still present quite a challenge. An inflatable surfboard is one solution, another is this collapsible concept design from Nick Notara - it's a surfboard that breaks down into two pieces for transportation purposes whilst retaining its structural integrity via the use of a carbon fiber backbone and two self centering, constant loading pin joints.  Read More

The Shadow Caddy

May 16, 2008 Mark Twain once famously quipped that "Golf is a good walk spoiled". Perhaps if he'd had access to the fully autonomous Shadow Caddy, he might have been a little more enthusiastic. The ability to trail you around the course without the use of remote control makes this a civilized compromise between dragging a set of clubs and foregoing the benefits of a pleasant stroll entirely by riding in a golf cart. It's also cheaper than hiring a human caddy and because it operates itself, it leaves your mind free to concentrate on connecting with that little white ball.  Read More

Basketball Intelligym computer game improves on-court basketball skills

May 6, 2008 There’s an overwhelming body of evidence that the brain, much like any other part of the human body, can be trained for improved performance in a host of different ways. Now a computer game that uses technology originally developed to help train fighter pilots is getting remarkable results in helping aspiring professional basketballers improve their real, on-court game. Known as Basketball IntelliGym the system looks like an innocent computer game – but much more is actually going on. As the player manipulates simple movements on the screen, “shooting” ammunition at moving targets, the system is busy analyzing skills and customizing a training program for the player.  Read More

The Cricket ball that measures its own speed

In the game of cricket, the express bowler holds a special place. The fastest of the fast bowlers deliver the ball at around 100mph and since the first radar guns were used to measure ball speed, the public has been fascinated with the ongoing quest to be the “fastest bowler in the world." Now you no longer need a radar gun to get an accurate reading of your speed with a new cricket ball produced that puts the measuring technology inside the ball so any budding Brett Lee can work on their speed.  Read More

Retul active motion capture technology

April 18, 2008 The Retul 3-D motion capture and analysis technology system for cyclists promises fast and accurate data collection to aid in bike fitting, avoiding injury and ultimately, better bike design. The active system, which uses infra-red LEDs (light emitting diodes) placed on the body in specific skeletal locations, will be used by the US Triathlon team in the lead up to the Beijing Olympics.  Read More

The Waboba Ball - it bounces on water

It has the consistency of breast implant material, a lycra coating and unlike any ball prior to now, it bounces on water. The slight change to one of man’s oldest playthings, offers an entirely new set of ways to have fun. Swede Jan von Heland realised that throwing a tennis ball and a Frisbee were fun in the water, but a purpose-made ball with the right balance of buoyancy and surface finish and weight, that could actually bounce on water, would be so much better. Prolonged experimentation followed, and the design was eventually patented and is now arriving at market as the Waboba Ball. It is so similar to the balls we know, yet so entirely different, that it constitutes a major invention – a category buster that is perfect for children in the 10+ age group to develop their hand-eye coordination and reflexes and catching skills to extraordinary levels – in a safe environment. It’s part physical education apparatus, part training aid, and part toy and the bestpart is the price - US$8.  Read More

Natalie Coughlin puts the iSH2 to the test

April 13, 2008 We've written before about H2O Audio's waterproof iPod accessories that let you pump out some good adrenaline tunes while you push through your swimming workout. Now, as America, China and Australia prepare to do battle for aquatic world supremacy in Beijing, the company has teamed with U.S. backstroke world record holder Natalie Coughlin to produce the iSH2 - an integrated waterproof case and headset for the iPod shuffle that works up to 10 feet (3m) under water.  Read More

Nike+ SportBand

April 3, 2008 Expanding on its "Nike+ experience", the sports giant has released a new SportBand designed to help runners monitor performance and enhance their training. The Nike+ SportBand is a minimalistic wristwatch that monitors steps and allows runners to check time, pace, distance and calories burned at a glance. The watch face is a detachable LINK that captures all the run data from a sensor located in the runner’s Nike+ ready footwear. Once a run is completed, the LINK plugs into a computer via a USB socket so data can then be sent to where a runner’s progress is tracked.  Read More

Fitness@home virtual training system

March 6, 2008 Planning to climb Everest? You may want to do some training first and this prototype Fitness@home virtual training system is just the ticket. New technology developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Architecture and Software Technology (FIRST) in Berlin transports the mountain training ground - or any other outdoor training scenario - straight into your lounge room.  Read More

Rip Curl's H-Bomb heated wetsuit, in testing in the Arctic Circle

February 27, 2008 Sorry, we couldn't resist that headline. Rip Curl has been testing its highly-anticipated H-Bomb heated wetsuit in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic, resulting in this incredible photograph. The Hawaii/So-Cal surf lifestyle is very attractive to folk all over the world - even those who live in far less temperate areas. And while a regular neoprene wetsuit can do an excellent job in cool water, there's still a point at which the temperature calls "time" - but when Rip Curl finally releases its heated H-Bomb wetsuit, it seems that die-hard surfers will be able to brave even a sub-zero arctic chill to chase the perfect set.  Read More

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