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Olympic fever & the coolest new tech in sport

Innovation for week one of the Olympic Games.

It's the Summer Olympics once again, and despite the many ups and downs getting to this stage, there's no doubt that the Games will bring incredible feats of strength, athleticism and fan-filled wonder. 

This week, we look at some of the inspiring tech that goes into the equipment used by athletes at the Olympic Games.

Nike soccer cleat uses data, heat-map imprints & 3D printing 

Nike cleat

"In soccer, like most other sports, footwear plays a major role in helping athletes perform at their best. Your shoes say a lot about who you are as a player, and you need them almost as much as you need the ball to play. This week, soccer pros all over the world will test-drive Nike's latest flagship football boot, known as the Magista 2. Unlike the original, released in 2014, Nike says its new model is fully driven by two years of research. Over that span, the sportswear giant relied on collecting athlete data and 3D-printed prototypes to build the design that hits stores tomorrow. …

"To develop Magista 2, VanHook and the design team needed some in-house assistance. They worked with people from the Nike Sport Research Lab every step of the way, from R&D to prototyping to the influence of the final design. NSRL is basically an underground bunker, located inside the most restrictive building at Nike's world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. The $40 million facility, built in 1980, is so secretive that even Nike employees who work in other buildings need to go through a screening process to receive a guest pass. It's an important part of everything Nike does for soccer, basketball, football, running and basically every other sport for which it makes products." – engadget

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Extreme tech propels Rio athletes forward

""Real-time data analytics may not seem like a big leap from an innovation point of view, but it has the potential to enable yet more records to be broken in 2016," says Dr Helen Meese, head of healthcare at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

"Data collection and analysis is having an impact on almost every sport.

"For example, Team GB's boxers have benefited from this type of analysis, using "iBoxer" software developed in conjunction with Sheffield Hallam University.

"The performance analysis system makes use of a wealth of data on Team GB's boxers and their opponents, including detailed fight analysis that reveals threats and opportunities for the fighters, helping them refine their tactics. …

"Team USA track cyclists have even been interrogating live data during training using augmented reality glasses developed by Solos.

Data collected from bike sensors, such as power, speed and pedal revolutions, are beamed wirelessly to the cyclist's glasses via IBM's cloud platform. As the athletes pedal furiously they can view their key stats without taking their eyes off the track." BBC

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Olympic athletes using brain stimulation headphones for improved training

Halo brain stimulation headphones Olympic athletes

"Many of the athletes heading to the Rio Olympics are using some form of technology to help them out, but some of them are relying on particularly unusual gear. Halo Neuroscience has revealed that several athletes are using its Halo Sport headphones to (hopefully) improve the effectiveness of their training. The wearable is meant to stimulate your brain's motor cortex into a momentary "hyperplasticity" mode, where it can more effectively build neural connections — if you're in the thick of resistance training, you may move on to heavier weights that much sooner." – engadget

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See more IT & Tech innovation stories and let us know the interesting technology stories you come across. We may feature them in future articles.

Tom Connon

Tom is a previous small business owner/operator and now has over 17 years of telecom experience. As a Portfolio Manager he specializes in product/service development, managing technical workforces and Customer/Segment Marketing. Outside of the office, Tom can be found shuttling his kids around from Lacrosse, hockey and ringette practices at a rink near you.

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