Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Zero1: Protective Helmet for Football Players

Zero1: Protective Helmet for Football Players

Even though football is a very popular sport and is enjoyed by more than 400 million people around the globe, the sport still remains under scrutiny for the safety of its players. Critics have scrutinized the sport because of it being injury prone. There are a lot of injuries that players can get from this sport. One of the most common injuries among football players and possibly one of the most life-threatening injury that can happen in any sport, is concussions. NFL has already done a lot of countermeasures against concussions. The organization even started numerous research programs to find the best solution or countermeasure against concussions. As a result, a new helmet was developed with hopes that it will have the ability to solve one of the biggest problems that’s been scrutinizing the sport ever since. Named Zero1, this is one of NFL’s research programs and is geared to be the ultimate solution against concussions.

The helmet consists of multiple flexible layers. It is developed to greatly reduce the rotational and linear impact forces to help prevent concussions from happening. The helmet is developed in a way that utilizes its four flexible layers to work in perfect harmony with each other to provide the absolute protection against concussions.

The top layer, named the “Lode Shell” will be responsible for absorbing the impact by deforming a particular part of the helmet. You can consider it as a bumper in a fender bender. This same technology has long been implemented in the auto industry but this is the first time that this technology will debut in a football helmet.

The second layer, called the “Core Layer” is a considered to be a masterpiece of medicine, sport and engineering. The Core Layer, which utilizes a highly-engineered column like formations, that are capable of bending and buckling in all directions to lessen the linear and rotational forces.

Next to the Core Layer is the “Arch Shell.” The Arch Shell serves as the interior of the helmet which is designed to fit perfectly to a player’s aspect ratio (the relationship between the player’s head length and breadth).

The last layer, called the “Form Liner” is the final layer that is specially designed to work accordingly with the Arch Shell which will allow the helmet to fit perfectly to a player’s head and to conform to the head topography, making sure that the pressure will be distributed all over the head equally. Aside from the layers that makes up Zero1, the helmet also boasts its Axis Fit System which is the one responsible for keeping everything together.

Zero1 is developed in a plain and simple way but with utmost perfection in mind to assure a better protection against concussions. As of now, the helmet is still going through various tests, most especially the concussion protection tests. Zero1 has to gain a five-star score before it can be approved to be used by the players. But even a helmet with a five-star rating cannot be completely considered as concussion-proof, because as long as players who play in contact sports they are still exposed to head injuries.

Gatorade is Recording Hydration in Real Time

gatorade tracking hydration

How Gatorade Plans To Reinvent Sports Drinks—Again

Gatorade has made a new product they call the “smart cap” which allows coaches to track their player’s hydration levels during practice and games! Every ‘smart cap” is digitally linked to a player. Using an app to see how much the player sweats during practice, how much sodium the player loses, and how much they need to drink to keep their body at optimal performance. Every “smart cap” is filled with a drink formula that matches a player’s specific sweat type. A chip and a small turbine in the spout measure how much he takes in a sip. There are LED lights on the cap that help the player pace their drinking, showing them if they need more or less to keep on target.

gatorade tracking hydration with new smart cap technology

  1. Customized top: Personalized cap with player name, number, team color, and logo.
  2. LED lights: Let’s the player know if they need to drink more or less to stay on target.
  3. Cap Chip: Shares real-time hydration data with digital platform and coach’s web app.
  4. Turbine: Measures all the liquid that is leaving the bottle to provide data to the chip cap.
  5. Fuel pod: Holds the specific concentrated Gatorade formula for the player.
  6. Fuel-pod engine: Cross-shaped top “breaks” fuel-pod cap, mixing contents with water.
  7. Bottle: 30 oz container, custom colors available.

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Magnets in Helmets?

football helmets magnet technology

Magnets in Helmets Might Make Football Safer

A new football helmet design with a radical idea could possibly prevent concussions during helmet to helmet impacts by using magnets. The idea behind it is that each helmet would be equipped with a magnet. During a head to the head collision they would repel from each other and slow the impact force before contact. Tests are being conducted with rare-earth element neodymium magnets from China, which are the most powerful commercially available magnet. These can repel up to 100lbs of force when repelling from the opposite pole and weigh a third of a pound (compared to the 3.5 to 5 pound helmets). While these safety feature would add to existing ones it also would add $50 to $100 in price. If the magnets make it through field tests, they could theoretically reduce the relative risk of concussions by up to 80 percent without changing the appearance or intensity of the game. See the full story here.

Science of Football Cleats

cleats

The reason you slip while walking or running is a lack of friction with the ground under your feet.  Friction is the force that happens when two objects are rubbed together which gets you moving forward, backward, whatever direction you push. Cleats are designed to give a player more friction with the ground. There are two types of friction, static friction and kinetic friction.

Static friction is the force between two objects that are not moving relative to each other. This means in order to move you must be able to overcome the initial force. This is the force and friction a wide receiver must overcome when he breaks off the line. If the force trying to move the object is less than the force of the static friction, then the object trying to move will not be able to go anywhere.

Kinetic friction is the force between two surfaces that are moving relative to each other. Once an object has overcome static friction and is moving it then has kinetic friction acting on it resisting it’s motion. Cleats help football players maintain traction when kinetic friction is acting on them.

Traction is the friction between an object and the surface they are moving on. To increase traction you must maximize friction. If you apply more force to the surface you are moving on, you will increase the friction between you and the surface, this provides you with more traction.

Cleats are designed to increase the traction of a football player on the ground and protect the player from muscle injury. In the event that a player does slip, the cleats are designed to help protect the muscles in a player’s feet to help keep them from injury.

Football Spiral

football spiral

How does a football spiral?

Well gravity is the key. But first, when a good quarterback throws a football it can spin 600 times a minute, that is as fast as a CD player. Another interesting fact about the spiral of a football is that when a right handed quarterback throws the football it actually looks different from a left handed one. The reason for that is what scientists call gyroscopic torque. Gyroscopes will move on their own when pushed and the same thing happens to footballs. When a football is thrown and it spirals, gravity brings its nose downward so the football moves on it’s own in another direction. Because of this, when a right handed quarterback throws the football will slightly bend to the right and slightly to the left when a left handed quarterback throws it. This can make all the difference in a touchdown pass or a missed opportunity.

6a00d8354c5ff669e2016763879315970b-800wiA patent issued in 2012 for a regulation football that has weighed strips for better spiral. On the outside, the new football is indistinguishable from an ordinary football. But on the inside, it has a series of weighted strips that extend around the middle. Together, the strips form a generally ring-shaped weight around the middle, stabilizing the football in flight by acting somewhat like a gyroscope.

Awesome Football Stadium Technology

houston texas stadium

Stadiums today are packed with not only thousands of people but lots of interesting, amazing and innovative tech. From the gigantic scoreboards and moving roofs to ordering food without missing the game there is a lot to talk about when it comes to football stadiums and their recent technological advances.

Super Scoreboard

If you didn’t already know that everything is bigger in Texas then it is time to compare your favorite team’s scoreboard to the Houston Texan’s board. In 2009, the Cowboy’s revealed their gigantic 53 foot tall and 277 foot wide (Boeing 787 Dreamliner wingspan is 197 foot) resulting in 14,500 square feet of sweet sweet display.

Waiter in your pocket

No fan wants to miss a touchdown or amazing play while you are out getting nachos. College and NFL stadiums now have mobile apps that allow you to order food from your seat. The high-rollers in the high-value seats can have the food delivered to them, while the rest of us still gotta go pick it up at a designated place. But hey, they still beats walking over, waiting, waiting some more, ordering, waiting again and finally getting elbowed and partially dropping some of it on your way back. Some stadiums will even text you when it is ready so you can get back to the game quickly.

The Cardinal’s Rolling Field

The NFL Cardinal’s field featured real green grass but retractable glass ceilings don’t let in enough light for the grass to grow healthy and strong. So one day someone decided well “we could just move the stadium over between games.” The playing field sits in a tray of about  2 acres, 39 inches deep with grass and irrigation/drainage rolls. This tray sits on a 16-rail track with 546 steel wheels that can slide out an opening on the south side of the stadium putting the grass out in the sun to grow. It takes about 75 minutes for this process to happen moving at 1/8 mph.

Colts got it covered

The most impressive retractable roof resides in Indianapolis Lucas Oil Stadium where the Colts play. The roof was the first of it’s kind to open sideline-to-sideline. When open the Colts play under a 176,400 square foot opening. It takes 10 minutes for 132 electric motors to run 16 cable drums to rotate and pull the two 6 million pound, 760 foot long covers.

Smaller NFL Shoulder Pads

shoulder pads

Have you noticed over the years that NFL shoulder pads have shrunk? This isn’t because of strange budget cuts, it is because of advancement in technology. The pads are now able to be smaller yet more protective. Over the past 15 years the pads have shrunk by 50%, which is much better than the 1980 pads that nearly engulfed the player’s head.

Players often skipped over leg and thigh pads but then the NFL made them a requirement. Technological breakthroughs in the plastic and the foam harnesses used allowed manufacturers to create lighter and smaller shoulder pads. The NFL stated that there has been no change in shoulder related injuries due to the smaller pads and the manufacturers stated that they have maintained the same commitment to safety.

Shoulder pads today weigh less than four pounds, compared to six to eight pounds 15 years ago and are thinner, flatter, more flexible and more resistant to becoming waterlogged with sweat.

 

Innovation for the Sports Fans

sports fans

Going to a stadium, getting a hot dog, and viewing your favorite team play right in front of your eyes in real time is about a close to the game as the average fan can get. Sports teams have always looked for a new innovative way to bring sports fans even closer in the stadiums.

Sports teams in Kansas City are using a new app to give fans a new experience in the stadium. Sporting Innovations has created this app to allow sports fans to sign in to their personal profiles, get second to second news bulletins and highlights, allow them to upload photos that could be selected to be shown on the stadium screens! The app started as a just an idea to give all the fans in a stadium WiFi access so they could share their experience easily with their friends who maybe couldn’t make it to the games. The app is currently available, check it out for yourself!

Ways 3D Technology is Shaping Sports

3d technology

In the United States, the four major sports (football, basketball, baseball, and hockey) bring in billions of dollars in revenue each year. This money comes from ticket and merchandise sales, TV contracts, and advertising. To keep the revenue moving forward, sports team owners and league organizers are always looking for ways to improve the experience for fans and athletes. 3D technology has changed nearly everything we know about sports. From equipment and medicine to broadcasting, we should thank 3D tech for almost every way we enjoy our favorite sports today.

Additive Manufacturing

Most commonly known as 3D printing, this process uses synthetic materials to automatically construct nearly any shape the human mind can think up. The process got it’s nickname because the machine that creates looks like a home office printer on steroids, it even moves like one and creates objects out of seemingly nothing. There are countless uses for additive manufacturing, but sports manufacturing is making an impact by creating custom equipment for an athlete. This gives them a personal edge by using a product that is tailored to their specific needs or size or anything. Professional runner Jack Bolas was the first to wear 3D printed shoes at the New Balance Games in New York. Jack Bolas wore a pair of shoes that had custom insoles 3D printed for him.

Medicine

3D technology has changes how we diagnose sports injuries. In the past we relied on X-rays and MRIs to see what was going on inside an athlete’s muscles and joints. Now 3D imaging gives doctors more insight into how injuries occur and better ways to treat them. 3D technology is also helping doctors actually create the materials needed to help athletes recover from injuries after surgery (additive manufacturing strikes again). Doctors can even print 3D bones and cartilage pieces to replace damaged ones after an injury.

Broadcasting

Some of the most basic luxuries in sports broadcasting are thanks to 3D technology. The yellow first down line in televised NFL games was a huge technological marvel in 1998. Today, special 3D cameras record games and send them to stereoscopic 3D televisions giving them the most immersive experience ever. It isn’t just football though, Major league baseball can track strike zones and pitches in real time, something we previously left up to the umpire in the past.

Video Games

Not many would argue that video game depictions of sports are real sports, but there are video game competitions known as e-sports that many would argue IS a sport. in 2014, more than 70 million people world wide tuned into e-sports, making it more popular than some of the biggest sports in the United States. With video game technology advancing rapidly gamers are getting a more immersive experience and it is all thanks to 3D technology.