Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show


Elite volleyballers using the SPI Elite system

On-the-fly physiological monitoring of athletes is developing to a stage where an elite sports coaching box is looking more and more like a Formula One garage, each player being constantly monitored to ensure maximum performance while avoiding injuries. Speed and conditioning expert Dr Adrian Faccione, founder of GPSports talks to us about the cutting edge of elite athlete management, and the amazing future technologies that are now in development. The original 35 minute MP3 of the interview with Dr Adrian Faccione is available here.  Read More

ExerSwim offers lapless swimming at any speed

May 12, 2007 If your pool is small enough to annoyingly break your rhythm with tumble turns every ten seconds, the ExerSwim Portable Swim Current Generator might be an ideal addition to your fitness regime. The innovative aquatic exercise machine makes nearly any pool endless with its smooth, wide, and variable current, providing lapless swimming for seniors through to professional athletes. The system uses a unique propeller design to create a wide, deep current for a natural swimming experience. The speed is fully adjustable by turning the dial to a “swim number,” offering a range from traditional swimming, through jogging or walking in place, to light hydra-therapy exercise. The portable poolside generator is designed specifically to travel, install, and store in minutes with minimal space requirements.  Read More

Click image to enlarge.hangtimer.com

April 2, 2007 The HangTimer sports watch is a US$100 watch for measuring “hangtime” – the basis for bragging rights in extreme sports markets. The HangTimer is a multi-function carabineer style sports watch, and is capable of accurately measuring exactly how much “air time” you get to one hundredth of a second and hence is likely to be very useful for snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking and other extreme sports where time in the air is a measure of skill. The HangTimer’s magic ingredient is a tri-axis accelerometer which comes up with the proof behind the trash talk – proof that you did what you said you did! Best of all, in a world where PR-provided executive quotes generally suck, we like the quote from HangTimer’s VP Development, Ted Griebling: “We don’t condone insanity, but we’ll time it for you.” And just to catalyze a bit of the aforementioned trash talk, the best hangtime submitted during HangTimer testing was 3.02 seconds on a single snowboard jump.  Read More

Garmin GPS-based Edge cycling computer touring California

February 18, 2007 The Garmin Edge has now been around for more than a year, but as the first GPS-based cycling computer and personal trainer and it’s a rich source of accurate and instant numbers on all the key variables in a way that hasn’t been provided before – time, speed, distance, heart rate, cadence, altitude and grade. One very interesting new capability for a cycle computer, and one that begins to bring game technology into the convergence mix in a very useful way, is the Edge's Virtual Partner feature allows the cyclist to keep pace with a digital person that performs at a programmed pace, duration or distance. Users can customize the display to show up to eight different data fields, as well as altitude and a map view. It attaches to either the stem or handlebars of the bicycle, and is designed for easy removal at the end of a ride. Californian athletes wishing to get a good look at the Edge might find a convenient location over the next week as Garmin is the sponsor of the internationally sanctioned professional cycling road race, the 2007 Amgen Tour of California, running February 18-25, 2007.  Read More

The Segway x2 Golf

November 7, 2006 Once billed as the future of personal mobility, the Segway has certainly had its fair share of trials and not many tribulations, but another of its many benefits surfaced this week in respect to its viability as an alternative to the golf kart. The Segway x2 Golf features a bag carrier, as well as a scorecard holder and special low-pressure tires that enable the x2 Golf to travel gently, causing less damage to the turf than a golf cart. In announcing that the Tiburon Golf Club at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Florida would be the first in the country to offer the Segway x2 Golf to its clients, club officials had some very complimentary things to say after the club had conducted three months of testing. A typical round of golf at the course usually takes at least four hours, but the Segway’s zippiness enables 18 holes in less than three hours. Whatsmore, players who use the Segway products also find that it’s easier to talk because all four players can travel the course side by side, rather than having to split up into two separate golf carts.  Read More

Sporting gloves and boots with 16X times more grip in the dry and 8X in the wet

October 25, 2006 There’s nothing as important as a competitive edge in the high-stakes game of world class sport and the recent launch of a new manufacturer in the sportswear industry with a seeming significant advantage will be interesting to watch. Simon Skirrow has spent three decades in the global sports industry, including many years at Adidas in charge of global marketing, promotions, product and sales, and his new company, SS Sportswear was established less than three years ago to bring its Nomis grip technologies to market. Independent tests show that Nomis Control Leather Technology gives up to 16 times more grip and control on the ball in the dry and eight times more grip and control when the leather gets wet. Not surprisingly, quite a few professionals have trialed the technology and a few have walked away from lucrative contracts with competitor products to stay with the Nomis technology, most notably Liverpool star Harry Kewell amongst more than 40 professionals that have begun wearing the boots. Nomis is available in both boots and gloves in the UK, USA, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the internet and the company is seeking further international distributors. Adding weight to the professionals who have adopted the new technology, two of NOMIS' boot designs took first and second place in the 2006 Soccer International Magazine Boot Test, beating big-name brand competitors including Adidas, Nike, Puma, Reebok and Umbro. Both NOMIS boots scored top marks for comfort, stability/manoeuvrability, touch/feel and received a perfect score for the 'value for money' category.  Read More

Smart technology for racing cyclists

October 11, 2006 The future of sport is not just about training hard, it’s about monitoring the body and making intelligent decisions using the data available and a fine example of the high-tech understanding being developed in sport science is the work being done by Dr Martin Becker of the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE. Becker has developed a new intelligent training system which uses sensors, computers and actuators to help racing cyclists optimize their performance. Each bicycle is fitted with equipment that constantly registers the forces acting on the pedals. Further significant factors are the rider’s pulse and pedaling frequency, the speed and the gradient. All these readings are collected in a processor on the bicycle and radioed to a central processing unit where they are analyzed. The computer delivers individual training recommendations to each rider: He can view them on a display mounted on the handlebars or listen to them over headphones.  Read More

The top ten golf gadgets

October 4, 2006 A good walk need not necessarily be spoiled if you employ the vast array of golfing aids that have graced these pages over the years. We have often reflected that more inventive creativity seems to be lavished on the sport of golf than on any other single human endeavour and we suspect it’s something to do with the type of people the game attracts (wealthy and presumably intelligent, or at least with a healthy dose of animal cunning), and in order to prove our seat-of-the-pants hypothesis, check out this array of remarkable golfing technology (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10). QED! Now if golfers are so smart and so affluent, it’s time that golf courses got wise. A recent survey of 12,000 avid golfers across the United States showed that 72 percent of all respondents prefer to golf at a course that offers GPS over a golf course that did not offer GPS with only 24 percent indicating no preference and 91 percent had already played on a golf course that utilized a GPS system.  Read More

The Bodywall improves health for all age groups

The Bodywall is one of the most adaptable inventions we’ve ever seen. Designed as a way to assist athletes to stretch effectively, the high adhesion gloves and shoes and high-tech wall surface offer spiderman-like capabilities. So it’s a gym, a ready made game and new form of physical education and wil be undoubtedly incorporated into the training regime of every elite athlete on the planet. But its chameleon-like character solves different problems in different markets. As in the parable of the seven blind men and the elephant, each person experiences and perceives the Bodywall in a different way. The original concept was to use a combination of the wall and gravity to challenge the entire body – improving proprioception, building muscle, joint, ligament and tendon strength, maintaining flexibility, reducing injury, rehabilitating injuries and facilitating full stretching of almost every muscle in the body for the very young and the very old, and everyone in between. Bodywall can be used either privately or very publicly, and can be manufactured for an audience of one, with the manufacturers offering a personal service, accepting four-colour, high resolution digital imaging. For an individual training for their own life goals, the Bodywall’s massive surface is an ideal place to decorate with personal messages to absorb while stretching – a great place to focus energies, emblazon a life purpose or a “go get ‘em” motivational mantra. It can function as a personal billboard for athletes and on a team scale, it offers a mobile sponsor wall that can be set up quickly at any training venue, in the change rooms or beside the pitch, court or track. In a world obsessed with sport, it’s a new high-association, visual advertising medium for sponsors. Whichever way you look at this invention, it ticks ALL the boxes.  Read More

NO ban on Hypoxic Training

September 20, 2006 The Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has decided not to ban Hypoxic Training systems and has not added artificially-induced hypoxic conditions to the 2007 List. The Committees found that the method was performance enhancing, determined that the methodology was contrary to the spirit of sport, raised some concerns but was inconclusive about the method's threat to athlete health. A substance or method may, but is not required to, be added to the Prohibited List if it meets two of these three criteria. There’s been a lot of discussion regarding the preliminaries for this decision and the subsequent misinformation surrounding the committee's determination that Hypoxic Training is contrary to the spirit of sport. Here are a few excellent resources for those whose mind is not yet made up: Interview with Dr John Hellemans of the New Zealand Academy of Sport South, links to WADA submissions from various authorities, and an excellent letter from Doriane L. Coleman , Professor of Law at Duke Law School, and an affiliate of Duke Law School's Center for Sports Law and Policy.  Read More

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