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Soccer

The Greendix solar-powered soccer balls

There are obviously some people out there who think that soccer balls aren’t doing enough. Earlier this year, we told you about the sOccket, a ball that generates power as it gets kicked around. Now, word comes to us of soccer ball prototypes with built-in solar panels. Where the black pentagonal sections would normally be, these balls instead have custom-designed panels that gather energy as they bask in the sun. That energy is used for running onboard motion sensors, and audio devices that emit a tracking sound whenever the balls are kicked. It is hoped that this sort of technology could be used to allow visually-impaired people to play soccer in the future.  Read More

EyeTV can now filter out much of the annoying droning on World Cup broadcasts thanks to a ...

With FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, defending the rights of South African fans to blow their horns at World Cup matches, TV viewers have turned to technology to tone down the incessant buzzing that accompanies the on field action of World Cup TV coverage. In what is sure to be music to the ears of many of the users of Elgato’s EyeTV software, the company has announced a free update that features a Vuvuzela Filter.  Read More

A fan plays the 'instrument' that has become the sound of the 2010 World Cup - the vuvuzel...

Riddle me this. What sounds like an elephant when all alone, but sounds like a swarm of bees when numbers grow? The answer, as any World Cup aficionado will tell you, is the vuvuzela. A meter long plastic horn that has become synonymous with the 2011 World Cup in South Africa and has had many fans reaching for the mute button on their TV remote controls. The BBC has received so many complaints it is looking at ways to minimize the noise of the so-called instrument. Now researchers at the Centre for Digital Music (C4DM) at Queen Mary, University of London have come up with a "devuvuzelator" that filters out the droning sounds of vuvuzela for anyone watching the World Cup on a computer.  Read More

The Adidas Jabulani, official ball of the 2010 FIFA World Cup (Photo: University of Adelai...

Professor Derek Leinweber has been studying soccer balls. He’s interested in the physics behind them, and is particularly intrigued by the design of the official ball for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, the Adidas Jabulani. He thinks it will behave in a much different fashion than the previous World Cup ball, throwing goalkeepers for a loop - all because of the ridges on its skin.  Read More

The Corpus training balls from Rasenreich helps turn average soccer players

One thing about soccer that makes it an enjoyable game for just about any participant is that the round soccer ball is fairly predictable in the way it behaves when it’s kicked, passed, headed, thrown, rolled, etc. But how do you sharpen your reflexes, interception and dribbling skills when you’ve mastered how the round ball reacts? Unless you want to play on a rock-infested pitch (not good for your joints or equipment) a new Corpus training ball from Rasenreicht might be the new training partner you need.  Read More

Robokeeper puts his body on the line. He is as safe as a brick wall built in front of the ...

At every live football game and in every pub around the world, someone exasperated fan watching the world game will yell: “even I could have beaten that goalie." But try beating this goal-keeper. He has the reflexes of a computerized cat. Cameras capture the ball and its movements and direct the ‘keeper to make an interception. If you can’t spear the ball into the top corners of the goal – you don’t have a chance. Apart from a skill developer, the Robokeeper is also a lot of fun. And he’s for hire.  Read More

A young lad tests out the prototype sOccket power-generating soccer ball in a Durban, Sout...

What kid doesn’t like kicking around a soccer ball? Imagine if this fun activity could also provide enough energy to power something useful in a modest off-grid African village, like a reliable light to cook by or an emergency mobile phone. The sOccket is a prototype soccer ball that captures kinetic energy when it is kicked or thrown, stores it in an internal battery and makes that energy available for a myriad of small but useful purposes. In other words, it’s a fun, portable energy-harvesting power source that is designed to take a kicking.  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

Interfacing real world ball skills with the computer game

August 21, 2006 The Computer Human Interface (CHI) comes in many different guises, and has come a long way since we punched holes in cards with paperclips. Indeed, games appear to be the key laboratory for the CHI as we continually see new ways of getting real world and virtual world to mix in a computer game. In recent times we’ve seen such interesting game interfaces as the Bodypad, Xboard, Entertaible,, the mental typrewriter, and the Virtusphere and now we’re really impressed with ICE’s Striker Pro which is a soccer striking game where the player takes a penalty kick at a success goal – just the World Cup was decided. The machine records the speed and angle of the soccer ball after it is kicked and reads the information into the game in real time so a virtual ball is kicked into the game with the same power and trajectory for an incredibly realistic experience, complete with goalie histrionics, umpires call and crowd feedback. The machine retails for US$11,000 and the level of difficulty can be adjusted from two year old all the way to world cup professional. Now the technology used to create the Striker Pro is being adapted to other sports and the developers of the Striker Pro, eballgames is seeking distribution partners wishing to develop games for other football codes, golf, baseball, hockey, tennis or any other sport. “We have been getting it all working just right for the last few years and we now know we can build the interface and the software for any sport, and deliver 100 machines on time, so now we are seeking people to work with around the world,” said eballgames founder Tony Course.  Read More

Quinspin unravelling the mysteries of soccer striking skills

June 24, 2006 The collection of key data with which sportspersons can improve their skills is still in its very infancy. Heart rates, recovery times and sprint times are measurements of fitness but are only one layer of the data and don’t reflect the magical skills which define champions. The time is fast approaching when we will be able to measure exactly how much David Beckham can bend the flight of a soccer ball, how much Roger Federer can make a tennis ball drop with spin or how Shane Warne varies the flight and turn of a cricket ball. Champions have the ability to flight a ball, to make it spin, curve and dip at will, and these things are hard to see, much harder to measure and infinitely harder to teach . The advent of Hawkeye is beginning to shed light on the mysteries of tennis and cricket upon which the former player experts were once the only available diviners of wisdom, but until Quinspoin, there has been no equivalent for the World Game – soccer! After years researching the dynamic testing of footballs including first-hand experience working with adidas to test +Teamgeist the official 2006 FIFA World Cup match ball, Loughborough University expert Paul Neilson is part of the team of inventors at Sports Dynamics that has developed the world’s first coaching tool to objectively measure the killer skill of the perfect strike.  Read More

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