The season has been all about sportsman spirit, raving fans and sweaty brows as our country performed its best ever at the Olympics. Technology has long been playing an important role on the sports field and in the past couple of years, we have seen brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Reebok craft technologies that benefit not only professional athletes but also those with a wild athletic streak. We have listed 8 cool sports products for the sportsperson in you. Some of these technologies have been ingeniously developed to offer comfort and pace to your feet; some also work in tandem with smartphones.
Nike Pro Turbospeed
Nike put in around 1,000 hours of wind tunnel testing, gathered insights from the fastest athletes, and applied them to its research on a range of sports gadgets. One of the products that emerged after the research is the Nike Pro Turbospeed. It is Nike’s fastest collection of track uniforms featuring golf ball-like dimples to reduce the aerodynamic drag on the athlete. The Pro Turbospeed uses the Nike AeroSwift technology, with patterns and surface architecture strategically placed in the key areas. The Nike AeroSwift keeps the interior surface of Nike Pro TurboSpeed smooth, even and as uninterrupted as possible. The elastics and edge-finishes on the outside ensure an innovative, flat, and smooth waistband. Bulkiness and abrasions are virtually eliminated. It combines lightweight materials with the design principles of reduction and simplification. Based on wind tunnel data, it is up to 0.023 seconds faster over a rated distance of 100 metres than the previous track uniform, which can make the difference between finishing on the podium and not. Moreover, it uses 82 percent recycled polyester fabric and up to an average of 13 recycled plastic bottles. Specific products have been developed for distance, sprint, and field events while strategic colour blocking is used to visually capture movement. The Nike Pro TurboSpeed is currently not available in India, and the company has not disclosed its future availability yet.
“We first identify two requirements we want to achieve in the product. For the Nike Pro Turbospeed this was high performance and low environmental impact. Then in every of Nike’s design process the athlete is in the center of it. The innovations we deliver to the athlete starts with the insights we learn through working and listening to the athletes. The result of this is the Nike Pro Turbospeed, which is the lightest and fastest track suit Nike has ever made. It is up to 0.023 seconds faster over 100m than our previous track uniform. This is also the result of over 12 years of study, incorporating more than 1,000 hours of wind tunnel testing and working towards maximum velocity for elite athletes. The Nike Pro Turbospeed collection also has low environmental impact, with approximately 13 recycled plastic bottles used to construct it,” said Matt Nordstrom, Senior Designer, Nike.
Adidas Adizero f50 with miCoach
Adidas has taken technology-imbued sports gear to a new level. The miCoach works in tandem with Adidas' other products. The Adizero f50 powered by miCoach is known as the 'football boot with a brain’. The miCoach is capable of turning the Adizero f50 into a digital training tool as it tracks real-time data across parameters such as speed, maximum speed, number of sprints, distance, distance at high intensity levels and time. Basically, the shoe has a cavity at its base in the outsole, which accommodates the miCoach Speed_Cell. It records the average speed every second and maximum speed every five seconds. The on-board memory stores all the measurements taken during the game or training, for up to seven hours, and wirelessly transmits the on-pitch performance data to a smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac. It is available in India through e-commerce stores.
The Sprint cell can be inserted in the cavity at the base
Andreas Gellner, Managing Director, Adidas India said, “Adidas is the brand that takes you on your personal journey, which is the essence of our 'Impossible is Nothing' spirit. We are leaders in innovation and design and seek to help athletes of all skill levels achieve peak performance with every product we bring into the market. It is our goal to be the most personal sports brand, which reflects in the launch of miCoach – your very own personal coach who is there with you on every run. It practically does all the thinking for you and knows exactly what you want to accomplish and exactly how to help you get there”.
Nike Lunar Glide+ 4
Nike’s Lunar Glide+ 4 uses the company’s well thought Lunarlon technology. A part of Nike’s Dynamic Support system, LunarLite combines Lunarlon, along with the Phylon or Phylite carrier, with Waffle Piston geometry for a unique blend of plush cushioning and springy response. Their newest product using the technology is the LunarGlide+ 4. Lunarlon cushioning has been invented by studying images of astronauts bounding across the surface of the moon 'as if on marshmallows' and that’s exactly the ultra-cushioned image that Nike wanted to evoke. Lunarlon is about 30 percent lighter than Nike’s standard Phylon foam and embedded the lightweight cushion in a firmer Phylon or Phylite foam carrier. This dual-density construction helps balance dissipation of impact forces with stability. Researchers in the Nike Sports Research Lab (NSRL) say that with Lunarlon foam, the pressure load has a larger distribution area across the foot. The foam is soft and dissipates force more evenly over a larger area so athletes aren’t pounding all their pressure in one place. It protects the foot’s fragile bones, according to Nike, helps add stability, and is comfortable for exercise. The Nike Lunar Glide+ 4 can be purchased through select Nike stores in India.
Adidas Pacer Bundle
The Pacer Bundle is yet another nifty product from Adidas, which serves as a complete digital training guide. The Pacer Bundle is inclusive of a miCoach pacer, heart rate monitor, stride sensor, and textile strap, and has been designed to push the user to deliver a better performance. It features a heart rate monitor, real time digital coaching, interactive training and post-workout analysis of your pace, distance and stride rate, ensuring that you are in the training zone at all times. You can clip the pacer to your apparel or even an MP3 holder. The stride sensor can be attached to the shoe to help you measure the speed and distance when walking, running or jogging. Listening to peppy tunes while working out is possible, so is receiving audible coaching at the same time. It even syncs your workout results, and connects to the Adidas miCoach website to track progress. It weighs merely 22.9 grams and its rechargeable 125mAh polymer battery offers about 10 hours of workout time.
Nike perhaps wants to ensure that users are active all through the day. This could be the reason it designed the Nike+ Fuel Band capable of measuring activities through a new metric called NikeFuel. The wristband with an ergonomic design can be comfortably worn all day. It uses accelerometry to offer information about the various activities via the movement of the wrist. It has an LED dot matrix display to show the four metrics: Time, Calories, Steps and NikeFuel. The deal is that you earn NikeFuel depending upon how active you are. NikeFuel is a normalised score giving equal points to the same activity, unlike calorie counts that are based on a person’s gender and body type. You can set a daily activity goal, and the series of 20 LED lights turn red-to-green, depending upon your closeness to achieving the goal. The FuelBand is capable of syncing with the Nike+ website via the built-in USB, and also wirelessly to a free iPhone app via Bluetooth. You can pick it from any Nike store.
Active all day
Adidas showed off its Bounce technology, Nike its Shox technology so Reebok put on the table, rather on the floor, its Zigtech technology. The Reebok Zigzag offers a lightweight design and imitates the movement of waves, and distributes shock equally on the outer soles of the feet, reducing the strain caused by jumping, walking and running for a long period of time by 20 percent. Basically, Reebok has tried to fit training shoes and casual wear shoes into one. For those working outdoors, the zigzag pattern foam sole transfers energy from the heel of the foot to the forefoot, so it takes away pressure from leg muscles and makes you move faster without much pressure. The shoe is also popularly dubbed as ‘Energy of your feet’. There is superior cushioning and ankle support. It uses three Reebok technologies: the SmoothFit technology for comfort plus smooth-seamed front leather; DMX technology that increases vertical and horizontal handle and reduces foot stress; and the Ortholite technology for mobility and quick movement. The shoes are lightweight, weighing 350 grams approximately. It is available through several stores, including e-stores, in India.
Powerball isn't usual sports gear, but we think it is worth a mention. Powerball is a power-filled, dynamic and completely revolutionary gyroscope. It roughly measures the size of a tennis ball. One has to simply set the rotor in motion using the cord provided or your finger, and build its speed by subtle rotation of the wrist and experience an extraordinary sensation. It has an inbuilt speed meter that would compel you to break your own high score. The speed goes as high as 15,000 rpm, negating the need for batteries and motor, and works on pure gyroscopic power. The NSD Powerball generates between 0.45 kg to 18.14 kg of resistance depending on rotor speed. It helps tone the arms and wrists, build muscle, or gently rehabilitate damaged limbs with its smooth non-impact action. The energy to run it comes from the user. The stronger the user, the faster the NSD Powerball spins. The faster a person is able to spin the inner rotor, the more inertia it generates, and the more resistance it subsequently inflicts upon the fingers, hands, wrists, arms and shoulders. To suit every budget and performance level, Powerball is available in 9 models. View them here.
Again, the Hydracoach may not be conventional sports gear, but we all know the important role hydration plays. One of the most common reasons for dehydration is that we often forget to drink enough water. Drinking the right amount or even the minimum amount of water per day is a struggle for most. Hydracoach is a giant tech leap in hydration, and is trained to keep its users hydrated at all times. The device is embedded on the bottle of water. It calculates water consumption, monitors it, and reminds the user to consume enough water for any activity or situation they could encounter. The personal hydration calculator checks the recommended daily usage, monitors the total water the user consumes, and displays the average amount of water consumed per hour. Interestingly, there is also a sip tracker. Hydracoach is available through online stores for about Rs. 2,199. You can also buy it here.
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