Science

Published on June 28th, 2017 | by Guest

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Three Technologies Revamping How We Live & Play

If it feels like technology is advancing faster than ever that’s because it actually is, and that means that all the fields where technology is utilized are also in constant transition; this dynamic has produced a fast-paced reality where not even the sky’s the limit. There is no place where this is more evident than in sports. From driving to surfing to shooting hoops, the way we play is evolving. And technology is leading the charge.

Infotainment

The auto industry has come a very long way from the days when Ford was helping invent the 8-track player. Many of us now enjoy modern systems within our vehicles like Bluetooth and navigation apps, which are intended to provide every possible measure of comfort. The screens that are becoming more and more commonplace are also becoming more and more advanced.

Volkswagen has introduced infotainment technology that will read social media notifications out-loud to drivers, as well as a system that can be controlled simply with gestures. Even in a world of radical advancements, the industry innovations that hold the most sway with consumers still seem to be those that are understated, but that thoughtfully alter user-experience.

Another market with a healthy projected growth rate of 28 percent by 2021 is the global bicycle infotainment market. Previously, only the most expensive bicycles offered a platform that could support infotainment systems. But now, that technology has become far more mainstream and cyclists everywhere can keep track of everything from their personal stats to the weather they’re riding in, all within one system.

POV Cameras

Point-of-view cameras are a relatively new facet of the industry, while for years there were versions created by amateurs, the first one on the market was introduced in 2002. Since then POV cameras have been used to drastically alter the landscape of multiple spheres of activity.

In sports, POV cameras are being used to change the way fans experience the game. This past May, referees in EuroLeague Basketball wore 360 degree body cams to give fans access to footage that had never been seen before.

On the flipside, GoPro has been used for years to produce up-close and personal footage from the boards of surfers to the chests of Olympic skiers. Beyond that, it’s utilized to provide fans the means to experience a game with VR technology, as in the case with EuroLeague Basketball, and also to revamp training as it allows players to see things no other footage can provide.

Wireless Sensing Systems

In the summer of 2001 two American football players, one a college student and the other a player for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, died from heat-related injuries sustained during workouts. Those deaths, which occurred only a couple weeks apart, helped bring large-scale attention to the fact that heat-related injuries are a serious risk-factor for athletes.

In the late 1980s, NASA and Johns Hopkins University partnered to create an ingestible thermometer pill for astronauts to utilize. The pill travels through the digestive tract and submits a harmless, low-frequency signal to a Data Recorder that can monitor up to 99 individuals.

HQInc. is now utilizing the pill for commercial use. NFL teams in the U.S. have already implemented the technology to keep their players safe from heat-related accidents in an attempt to prevent further tragedy. Other sports are utilizing the technology including track and field, auto racing, cycling, soccer, and hockey.

Additionally, the methods used to cool first-responders are being assessed by use of the pill, and the body temperatures of divers who dive in the deepest, coldest waters can be monitored. It’s even a tool being applied by doctors working with patients with sleep disorders as well as those undergoing heart surgery. In both cases, knowing the body temperature of their patients gives doctors necessary information so that they can spot and prevent an emergency before it arises.

Always Moving Forward

Technology has a liberating quality about it. It provides agency and opportunities where before there were none. However, that only remains true if individuals are able utilize it and apply it in a productive manner.

To paraphrase Albert Einstein, the thing that must always prevail over technology is the human spirit. Although innovations that allow us to live lives with more ease are commendable, the ones that allow us to live well or to save life itself are the very ones that get to the core of Einstein’s point. They’re the ones that make the pursuit of the next great piece of tech a worthwhile one.

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