After seeing a barrage of ever-changing styles over the past few years, we've become sort of numb to the weirdness of barefoot shoes. But, every once in a while, a manufacturer manages to introduce a design that shocks and awes. The barefoot-leguano that we spotted at the recent ISPO sports show is one such design. Sort of a Swiss Protection Sock
with a mild Reebok ATV-style
bubble sole, these shoes aim to fill that lessening void between full shoes and bare piggies.
Recon Instruments has been offering a ski goggles with heads-up displays
for several years. Thing is, not many sports require goggles, so its technology has been limited to things like skiing and skydiving
. German sports computer manufacturer O-Synce has a heads-up design that should prove far more universal. Its screeneye x sports visor flashes your performance metrics via an integrated display.
It’s no coincidence that Reebok’s goofy-looking new running shoe, the ATV 19+, shares its acronym with that of All-Terrain Vehicles. Like the wheeled and motorized ATVs, the shoes feature a wide stable stance, big lugs, and independent suspension (within each of those lugs).
Perhaps you’re a runner whose shorts don’t have pockets – or, they have
pockets, but you don’t want things bouncing around and/or getting sweat-soaked in there as you run. If that’s the case, you might like Contigo’s storage-compartment-equipped Kangaroo Water Bottle.
Leo and Phides – two planar biped robots built at the Delft University of Technology – are walking and running, respectively. Leo improved its walking gait through reinforcement learning, which shapes behavior by rewarding success and punishing failure. Phides, the running robot, has achieved an impressive flight phase (the period in a running stride in which both feet are off the ground). Watch the robots in action after the break.
It seems that the problem of carrying water is really nagging runners. At least it's nagging manufacturers that want to sell new gear to runners. The numerous running-specific hydration packs and belts already on the market are being joined by alternatives like the Kenmark Armband Water Bottle
and these water-lugging "gloves" from Salomon.
An important part of running, at least if you are serious about it, is making sure your runs are optimized. Hardcore runners like to make sure that they are getting the most out of their training, and data is the key to accomplishing this goal. Garmin has rolled out a new GPS-enabled watch with that in mind. The Forerunner 10 is available now, and it looks to have many of the features runners want.
Bicycles haven't really changed much in over 100 years. Of course the materials used, technologies employed, and safety equipment utilized have all improved a great deal, but two wheels, one of which is linked to pedals by a chain, is still the basic layout. The old adage of "don't fix what isn't broken" applies here in no uncertain terms, but that doesn't mean engineers and designers can't toy with the idea of changing things up a little. The Fliz changes things up a lot
... not necessarily for the better, but it's a fun concept regardless.
The barefoot shoe revolution has really brought us some interesting shoes. You have the classic (and kinda creepy) Vibram FiveFingers, the Sazzi five-toed sandals
and the Swiss Barefoot shoe-socks
, to name but a few. One of the latest entries in weird, goofy barefoot cobbling is the Freeheel Runningpad, a sort of half sandal from Germany's Starringer.
Researchers from RMIT in Melbourne, Australia have developed a flying running companion called Joggobot. The system uses the built-in camera on a commercially-available Parrot AR Drone
quadrocopter to track the position of a jogger, and fly a few feet out in front. While the current version has some serious limitations, there is huge potential for the development of a fully interactive training partner or coach in the very near future.