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Kati Wilhelm models the Clima TechFit cross-country suit

February 20, 2006 Adidas has debuted an athletic second skin at the Turin winter Olympics which it claims offers a significant improvement in energy output of the wearer. In controlled laboratory tests conducted together with the University of Calgary, the new Clima TechFit cross-country suit offers an average 5.3% improvement in energy output and 1.1% faster sprint time when measured over 30 metres. Most importantly, the tests measured a 1.3% reduction in oxygen consumption when wearing the new suit. The suit works by using compression strips that link the legs and the upper body with the power centre of the body. The suit employs a number of technologies to work its magic, one of which involves the compression strips supporting leg muscles and reducing muscle vibration and oscillation, thus reducing energy loss and muscle fatigue for better “muscle management.” The power bands embodied in the suit along key muscle groups contract and expand together with the muscles and thereby store energy when stretching and return energy when contracting back. Through the linking and interaction of all muscles, the suit enables greater efficiency to be achieved.  Read More

adidas shows first modular soccer boot

January 31, 2006 adidas unveiled a new soccer footwear concept late last week in Germany which could have far-reaching ramifications for the world's fashion footwear and sporting footwear industries. The boot is modular and will be known as the +F50 TUNIT. This new soccer boot concept allows players to customize, adapt and tune their boots to any weather, any pitch and their very own personal style. The revolutionary +F50 TUNIT is easily constructed from three interchangeable components: the upper, the chassis and the studs. Each component comes in a variety of styles and functions. Simply by mixing and matching their components of choice, each player can easily build and tune their boots.  Read More

Polar F55 heart rate monitor combines cardio and strength training

January 29, 2006 Finish heart-rate monitoring specialist Polar invented the first wireless heart rate monitor (HRM) in 1977 and has been a step ahead of the rest in helping people understand the importance of monitoring your body’s most important organ ever since. It is now going one step further in helping consumers better understand their bodies and achieve their fitness goals with a new total body workout model, the Polar F55 heart rate monitor. Incorporating both strength training and cardio exercise, the Polar F55 is ideal for exercisers looking for a complete full-body workout.  Read More

Sports bra monitors heart rate with built-in heart monitor

December 23, 2005 We’ve written a lot about heart monitoring and the advances in monitoring technologies over the last few years, reporting on Adidas’ Project Fusion, the BodyBugg, Garmin’s system for cyclists, Dual Sports combined heart rate monitor and MP3 player and Polar’s RS200sd Running Computer. With the exception of the first two, all of these monitors require the wearing of a chest strap and while this is sometimes difficult and uncomfortable enough for men, it creates much more of a problem for women. Now there’s an answer from heaven - a heart sensing sports bra.  Read More

Yaktrax - snowchains for your feet

October 30, 2005 We put snow chains on our cars to give us traction on ice and snow, so this is one of those ideas we’ll accept fairly readily. Indeed, the Yaktrax is such a good idea that it was recently on show in the Museum of Modern Art in New York as "masterfully designed product for everyday use". The Yaktrax Walker was chosen among 122 other products (such as the Paper Clip, Post-It-Note and Band-Aid) as one product that "makes peoples lives easier and safer". There are two models of Yaktrax – one for walking and one for active sports, and the simple propostion is that you stretch these onto your shoes and 1000 biting edges suddenly give you a solid footing. The active sports version, named the Yaktrax Pro, has a removable performance strap for stability under the greater stresses experienced at running speeds.  Read More

The Polar RS200sd Running Computer

Though the advanced Polar-Adidas Fusion training system is still some way off, Polar's new RS200sd running computer offers most of the benefits without the clothing integration, at a fraction of the cost. Features include a suite of software to analyse what you’re doing with your bod – calorie and heart rate tracking and even a fitness test. There are 5 heart rate zones that can be customised to support your individual training needs and graphics guiding the user to the desired training result. The screen effectively becomes a user-configurable dashboard for a human being when used with a Polar S1 Footpod advanced inertial sensor to provide real time speed, pace and distance.  Read More

Yale technology enables you to hear your golf swing

September 7, 2005 Robert D. Grober, Yale professor of Applied Physics and Physics, has combined his passion for golf and his professional expertise to produce a unique and effective real–time audio biofeedback device for teaching and training golf. Grober developed a golf club that has motion–detecting sensors, similar to those used for safety airbag deployment in cars, embedded in the shaft. Sonic Golf’s unique feature is the use of real–time audio feedback. “We were able to identify a signal from the sensors related to the speed of the club,” Grober said. “We convert this signal into an audio soundscape that is universally intuitive to golfers and instantly interpretable, providing real–time audio feedback on the tempo, timing and rhythm of the golf swing.”  Read More

Compelling new GPS-based training system for cyclists

September 2, 2005 It seems we are suddenly approaching the tipping point in the GPS market as the perception of GPS moves from an interesting high-tech novelty to a handy tool everyone can use every day. Garmin has introduced a new line of integrated personal training systems focusing on the needs of recreational and advanced cyclists. The Edge is a compact, lightweight, waterproof unit that has the ability to accurately monitor pedalling cadence, heart rate, calories burned, vertical profiles (via a a barometric altimeter), climb and descent, altitude, speed, distance, and time. Because the Edge is GPS-based, the information may be overlaid onto a cyclist's course map, including hills and curves, so the cyclist can easily analyse every aspect of their workout. The Edge 305 with heart rate lets you see whether you are training too hard or not enough. The heart rate monitor data is stored with each track point for post-workout analysis. There’s also “Virtual Partner” which lets you "race" a virtual competitor, making training fun and you can also "race" against a recorded course to try to match previously set speeds at every point along the way and a full “Training Center software” which gives you the ability to create workouts, manage and download courses, and create a detailed post-ride analysis that charts your performance.  Read More

More innovation from ROTOR - eliptical chainrings

August 20, 2005 We’ve written about ROTOR bicycle crank systems before – the ROTOR crank makes infinite sense in that it reduces the power "dead spot" at top-dead-centre (TDC), reduces stress on the knees and offers the ability to get more power to the rear wheel. (see simulation) ROTOR is now working on a new project … elliptical chainrings with variable regulations that can be customised for each rider's needs. The ROTOR Q-Ring is different from other ovalized chainrings; a new concept incorporating a patented variable regulation system (OCP) that applies some of the biomechanics of the Rotor Crank System to conventional cranks. Q-Rings give you more power during the pedal down stroke, just after the moment you develop maximum power, when you are generating 90% of your power output. Feedback from Q-Ring test pilots has been unanimous: easier and faster pedalling at high cadences, faster times in time trials (flat or rolling courses), much faster when climbing, a significant reduction in knee discomfort and a lower heart rate while achieving the same speed that they did with round chainrings on conventional cranks.  Read More

Special glasses for finding lost golf balls

August 18, 2005 Lost golf balls are the bane of a golfer's existence we're not sure which is worse - waiting for the group in front to find their golf ball or losing one yourself. Over the years there has been countless technological endeavour directed at the problem - how to find a lost golf ball> Now there's a simple, cost-efficient and elegant solution. Visiball “Golf Ball Finder” glasses work by blocking out various coloured light waves while allowing the white light wave of the golf balls to pass. The special lenses are claimed to make the lost ball almost appear to glow, making it easy to locate and resume play quickly. Pretty simple really - we've got a set of the glasses winging their way to us at present so we'll send our kick-arse resident golfer Noel out to lose a few golf balls - stay tuned!  Read More

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