Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Sports

The Mind4 drone takes a different approach to tracking athletes from above

Among the swarm of consumer drones to emerge this year, a number have been aimed squarely at action sports devotees. What defines these vehicles is a tracking feature that enables the drone to autonomously follow athletes from above, but these generally require the user to carry a smartphone to communicate their GPS position. Streaming from a built-in camera to a smartphone app, the Mind4 drone instead allows users to select any object to follow onscreen, a feature that could lead to new possibilities in aerial drone photography.  Read More

The Second World War relic was once used to guard a German torpedo plant (Image: MFRMGR)

Polish architecture firm MFRMGR recently unveiled plans to renovate an offshore WWII era watch tower into a water sports hub and research center. The building will also be outfitted with sustainable technology, enabling it to operate using renewable energy sources.  Read More

The Mark I MegaBot prototype

Who hasn't looked at a sporting event and thought that it would be better if it involved giant robots wailing on each other? That seems to be the thinking of the people behind the MegaBots Kickstarter campaign, who are raising money to build giant humanoid robots with human drivers to take on each other in paintball arena games.  Read More

Offpiste designers say the triangular shape provides freeing performance helpful in action...

Over the years, the backpack has evolved slowly. It's gained new and improved features, but it's remained essentially the same: a dual-strapped sack. But a host of more substantial backpack redesigns over recent years, such as multifunctional jacket backpacks and restructured strap systems, suggest that evolution might be accelerating. The Offpiste UltraPack leaps forward a few evolutionary stages, strapping a gear-hauling triangle to your torso via a single strap for new-found athleticism.  Read More

WingBoarding would see adrenalin junkies towed behind a plane atop a winged board

Technological advances haven't just led to more comfortable homes and more productive workplaces, they've also provided thrillseekers with new and inventive ways to get the adrenalin pumping, with Wakeboarding (now possible without a boat), skydiving and wingsuit flying just some examples of extreme sports enabled by modern technology. Now Aaron Wypyszynski, founder of Alabama-based Wyp Aviation, is looking to combine elements of these three sports in WingBoarding, which would see a rider towed behind a plane atop a winged board – yes, seriously.  Read More

The VW XL Sport's aerodynamics help it achieve a high top speed from a relatively small en...

Volkswagen's XL1 is a fascinating study in fuel economy. The combination of its low-drag shape, light weight and plug-in hybrid system allow it to sip fuel at just 0.9 l/100km (261 mpg), but a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) time of 11.9 seconds isn't what you'd call lightning quick. To rectify this VW has given the XL1 a sports makeover, with the help of a Ducati engine.  Read More

ICEdot's Emergency Trigger clips to your helmet strap or wristband, keeping help within ar...

Two years ago, ICEdot presented the Crash Sensor, an emergency notification device designed to mount to sports helmets. After getting it to market last year, the company found that although its customers liked having the sensor-activated emergency notification, some of them also wanted to have a manual emergency notification. ICEdot has responded with the Emergency Trigger.  Read More

EE has installed interactive LED lighting on the Wembley Stadium arch

Earlier this year, mobile operator EE announced a partnership with the home of the England national soccer team, Wembley Stadium. The six-year deal includes the installation of "state-of-the-art technologies" at the stadium. Amongst these is an LED lighting system that will illuminate the stadium's arch based on fan sentiment on social media.  Read More

Garmin's vivosmart blends fitness tracking with smartphone functionality (Photo: Chris Woo...

Garmin's sports monitoring efforts have typically resembled bulky wristwatches more than the inconspicuous, new age fitness trackers of the Fitbit mold. It did flag its intentions to trim some fat earlier this year with the release of its vivofit bracelet and the company's new vivosmart, which we came across at IFA last week, retains the form and function of the slender fitness bracelet, while packing real-time notifications and functionality of a smartwatch.  Read More

Jabra's Sport Pulse Wireless headphones have a built in heart-rate sensor, as well as a fi...

Today's technology lets us listen to music and track our fitness as we jog. Typically, our music and fitness tracking devices or apps are separate, but a new pair of headphones promises to do both. Jabra's Sport Pulse Wireless earbuds monitor heart-rate and have an accompanying fitness app.  Read More

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