Tecnología del futuro

Future Tech

Words: Mark Anders
Illustration: Tom Mackinger

Two decades from now, amateur athletes will have a whole new selection of toys to use in training

Tecnología del futuro

Infrared cameras measure eye dilation and movement

Monitoring THE EYES

These high-tech goggles (Tobii Glasses 2, pictured) enable researchers to analyse what the athlete is looking at and from where he is receiving visual information.

In addition to an outward-facing camera, which records what he is seeing, a secondary infrared camera mounted inside the goggles reflects off a tiny mirror to measure eye dilation and movement. Footage from both cameras is synced, providing researchers with real-time vision tracking using a small red dot on the screen to indicate exactly where the athlete is looking.

In the case of an elite motocross racer, for instance, he’d likely exhibit a steady gaze looking way ahead down the track and through the corners. Information gathered from tracking and studying the vision techniques of elite athletes will likely trickle down to help amateurs learn from the pros.

Tecnología del futuro

Real-time feedback and analysis

Monitoring YOU!

We’re getting into some serious Dick Tracy stuff here. This computer attaches to your wrist and incorporates everything from a mobile phone to high-definition video playback and analysis, enabling coaches to provide near real-time feedback to their athletes.

For example, a snowboarder practises his slopestyle run while his coach records high-speed video of each jump. While the athlete rides the chairlift back to the top, the coach can wirelessly send video clips plus feedback directly to the snowboarder’s watch. This saves lots of time and, more importantly, delivers coaching advice almost instantly, while the run is still fresh in the athlete’s mind.

Tecnología del futuro

Information gathered from vision will help amateurs and pros

Monitoring THE BRAIN

This EEG monitor measures voltage fluctuations from neuron flow within the brain. It provides researchers with a real-time image of the athlete’s brain activity during different situations, from a meditative state to, say, the moment when a snowboarder is preparing to drop a huge line in the Alaskan backcountry. Researchers hope this brainwave analysis will help them figure out how athletes reach their flow state and what it looks like through EEG.

Also, by downloading this real-time EEG imagery 
to a tablet or other device, it can be used as a neuro-feedback loop to teach an athlete how to more quickly get into a meditative, Zen-like state so he can better handle the stress of competition or extreme situations. Beyond that, researchers say this EEG data may be able to provide coaches with early indicators for talent identification, determining if a young athlete has the brain ability to perform at an elite level and how much training it would take to get them there.

Tecnología del futuro

Underwater camera angles

Monitoring EVERYTHING#1

While remote-controlled helicopter cameras and drones are ubiquitous and still very useful, new models are being developed to bring coaches and viewers never-before-seen angles.

For instance, Red Bull researchers are working with biomimicry to create a camera-equipped remote-control submarine that swims like a fish to follow a surfer from below as he rides a wave. Besides creating cutting-edge action sports cinematography, these new camera angles will give surfers, coaches and board designers new perspectives and insight on matters such as how various surfboard fin set-ups work in different wave conditions. All this will eventually result in improved fins and boards for average surfers.


Tecnología del futuro

360-degree immersive playback

Monitoring EVERYTHING#2

This thing makes a GoPro look antiquated. Instead of the GoPro’s 170-degree field of view, the hockey-puck-sized CentrCam records a full 360-degree view of the action. It can be easily mounted on a helmet, surfboard, or rally car and then used to record the action.

But the real magic happens when, during playback, you’re able to pan around inside the video almost as if you’re moving back through time. Imagine how the CentrCam could be used to help a rally driver determine how closely other cars are passing or being passed. In the event of a crash, the exact cause of the wreck could be determined more quickly.

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