Technology Olympic Athletes Use to Achieve Peak Performance
In the modern day and age of the Olympics, athletes are the intersection of sports and technology. This is where champions are born and where the margin is so small that the advantages of new technology makes it more viable to compete.
In the modern day and age of the Olympics, athletes are the intersection of sports and technology. This is where champions are born and where the margin is so small that the advantages of new technology makes it more viable to compete. You can find surprise winners and people that make it possible to win through tweaking their form or style just a little bit. The margin is so small that any boost that technology can provide is a good one.
When you start the discussion off with the Olympics you have to mention skiing. Skiing competitively is one of the more fun sports to witness. The Marvel suits were the big rage this year, but more so were the MIPS which are Multi-directional impact protection helmets. These helmets are worn by the US skiing team and protect the wearer from blunt force damage.
With downhill skiers hitting 90mph+ on a quick slope, there are serious consequences to crashing and falling. There can be life-threatening problems when it comes to going at those speeds. The Advance MIPS helmets have an innovative ball and socket type slip plane which reduces rotational movement when its angled. This helps in preventing the neck and spine injuries that can come up when you’re struck against a bad landing spot and your neck gets a jerk.
An Italian company Dainese brought with it a new innovation that’s been all the rage in the Olympics – it’s the airbag vest that many teams have to wear this year. These were created for MotoGP racers who didn’t have protection like rally car drivers do. The company made sure that as soon as it detected an impact it would inflate to create a cushion like bag that would protect the wearer from severe injuries. Athletes who don’t wear this can face life-threatening injuries that can end their careers.
This year, Samsung displayed a training aid that helps athletes train better, which was used by the Dutch team on their suits. The suits have tags and sensory mechanisms that give you real-time information to help you improve customized aspects of the game.
It gives you information on posture, balance, speed and other important factors that are relevant to the analysis of the event. Coaches can share corrections on-the-spot and made the process fun, interactive and competitive. There’s even an app that goes along with that, and helps you record everything from top to bottom.
There are companies like Athose and Lumo Run that are taking live feedback to the next level. They’re measuring muscle activity and checking out which muscles are partaking in what actions. When certain muscles don’t fire correctly, it could result in damage, tissue problems, etc.
It also showcases balance and links to a core-mechanism to look at how much you deviate from the mean. Maybe that’s your advantage, but you need to be able to measure that against many different factors. sEMG (Electroactive Smart Materials) sensors are attached to an undergarment which sends data to an app. The data collected helps you ensure that you’re in the right body-balance ratios.
Another company called Halo Neuroscience is going after the brain. Its helping athletes figure out which part of the brain is being used more than others, and helping athletes make better decisions. Developed in SF, a team of doctors and scientists are using a closed-loop system to create small stimulations in the brain. These areas of the brain respond differently and create regions that are activated and docile. This hyper targeting helps users figure out the best approach to estimating an athlete’s full brain power when under review.
The Winter Olympics have given us a new way to look at the environment – through the lens of technology. Flying through a half-pipe and ski jumping across long-hauls has been made much easier now that you can use technology to help you out. Strivr Labs, started at Stanford University, helps athletes figure out what’s happening with the help of VR.
You can do simulations, run some tests, and do a complete round up of the latest tricks and risks without getting into too much danger. VR can also improve your decision-making processes and help you make better quality decisions. With VR, the whole layout can be simulated and shared to anyone wearing the headset.
A company called Carv is getting a team of engineers to make skiing better. It developed a device that acts like a magnetometer, gyroscope and accelerometer in one. The device sends out data to the user using 100 pressure sensors all around it, while fitted with a Bluetooth chip.
A virtual coach will be giving you instructions based on the path and what moves you should be making, which will also help you to figure out the best techniques when enjoying the slopes.
Being an athlete is hard work and it requires a lot of outside stimulation to become the best. When there are competitors with a genetic advantage, those that still want to pursue excellence can do so with technology. It doesn’t just take a great athlete to prove her merit on the ice and gravel. It takes a superior team of experts that can make the athlete’s life that much easier.
Nowadays, the business of sports technology has invited investors from around the world, leading many to believe that it’s a sign of a new era of sports.
While most don’t go that far, AI will be the next step towards enhancing sports and wearables. When a computer can predict your mistake before you do it, you can essentially ‘retrain the brain’. This retraining exercise can make you have a quicker reaction-time and better reflexes when it's crunch time. Being effective in those tiny moments is the key to having a great sports career and an injury-free season.
The Olympics have invited the best of the best from around the world for generations now, and with technology the competition is getting tighter and innovation is driving it to newer heights.