by Jonathan Kevin Castillo and Princess Joy Pidlaoan
The Olympic Games, one of the greatest gatherings around the world, is an international sporting event that happens every four years with the Summer and Winter Games alternating. Last year was the Summer Games in London. Next year, the whole world will be looking forward to the winter games in Sochi, Russia. These games not only recognizes the greatness of an athlete; it likewise recognizes the advancements in technology.
There have been quite a number of technologies that have brought out a new angle when viewing or participating in the Olympics. We didn’t notice or gave much attention to them because of all the fast-paced action going on. And so, in preparation for next year’s Olympics, we took it upon ourselves to research some of these unsung technology heroes that contributed to the success of the previous games.
Nike Turbo Speed Pro
A show in Discovery Channel called Mythbusters had proven that the dimples in golf balls reduce aerodynamic drag. This results to a significant increase in speed and stability. The Turbo Speed Pro uses the same idea, with wind tunnel data placed on key areas around the suit. It synthesizes with the athlete’s full potential. It is also good to know that this high-end gear was made from plastic bottles.
It is most often troublesome especially for athletes to have instruments stuck in one’s mouth, armpits, or in places that shall not be named. This thermometer pill once swallowed monitors body temperature and sends data through smartphone or other devices. This is just perfect for athletes. They can continue training without the intermittent interruptions.
From a man who loves to move cameras, Garrett Brown created the Dive Cam. A camera specially made for capturing diving moments. It works with two things: a pulley system and pure gravity.
The camera is placed on a 50-ft. long tube that extends under the surface of the water but doesn’t splash into the water. As the diver leaves the springboard, the cameraman drops the camera as the diver plunges into the waters. To avoid breakage from the impact created, it has a brake system to stop the camera and is to be pulled back up for the next dive. Its pulley system also serves as its brake. Before the camera reaches the end of the rope, the pulley locks it and keeps it from recoiling. The camera is dropped after the twitching of the diver’s hip.
A split second could mean a Gold medal for an athlete. And to ensure utmost accuracy, a software was developed by the Eye Vision Technology (EVT) for image processing solutions. It stands for “zero-error production” that reduces processing time. It supports vision sensors, 3D sensors, smart cameras, PC-Systems with camera interfaces, high-performance industrial cameras like GigE, flash drives, CoaXPress and Camera Link. All cameras with DCAM profile and even analogue cameras are also supported. For the Olympics, this means each and every moment is captured.
Speedo has engineered an entire gear for swimming athletes known as the FastSkin 3, which compromises a cap, a goggle, and a swimwear. These three together was said to cut through water, maximizing the swimmer’s speed. The cap combined with the goggles reduces body’s drag force by 5.7%. The goggles feature a Hydroscopic Lens allows full peripheral vision and the swimwear has what Speedo calls, a 3D Zoned Compression, which adjusts based on the swimmer’s body. It reduces skin friction while in the water.
Omega Quantum Timer and Aquatics Timer
Marking the beginning of the new generation Omega Timing products, the two timers have enhanced resolution of one millionth of a second which is 100 times greater than devices previously made. It delivers 0.1 parts per million precision meaning there’s a maximum variation of one second every 116 days.
Innovation also includes complete back-up built into the main unit with 16 independent clocks (meaning 16 separate running times can be put into the hardware), 12 8 inputs and 32 inputs.
For the Aquatics Timer, main and backup systems have separate power supplies so that in cases of power failure, one doesn’t affect the other.
Can’t leave your gadgets off your eyes and hands? Wear them, then!
A Canadian laboratory is formulating integration of gadgets to soft objects like fabrics. Called smart clothing, it aims to monitor a person’s health. It can even be a wearable computer. It contains wireless sensors that can measures heart rate and temperature. These clothing are all customizable to fit the wearer’s needs. Other smart shirts can be washable, too.