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MEMS in Sport Gains Speed
4/20/2012

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Xsens' biomechanical body suit uses MEMS sensors.
Xsens' biomechanical body suit uses MEMS sensors.

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Alexander Wolfe
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MEMS' the word
Alexander Wolfe   4/20/2012 10:21:33 AM
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The MEMS in Sports presentation was one of the big highlights of the Sensors in Design Summit. More info on the sessions we had, here

NadineJ
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Re: MEMS' the word
NadineJ   4/20/2012 10:57:12 AM
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It's no wonder it was a big highlight f the show.  Action Sports has been a catalyst for new trends for several years now.  Technology in fashion is one example.  The industry has also been a great agitator.  The growth of Go-Pro accelerated crowd-sharing in a fun way.

And, it's great too see technology supporting the health of athletes.  This can be used to keep track of, not only winning techniques, but also any degenerative effects on the body.

 

Scott Orlosky
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Re: MEMS' the word
Scott Orlosky   4/20/2012 8:15:36 PM
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As a self-avowed data junkie, I think this is really cool technology.  I remember working 25 years ago on some Virtual Reality projects where we were trying to map the body in 3D space.  Some of it eventually translated into telepresence programs and gaming, but nothing like the miniature sensors can do now.  Just wait until energy harvesting gets integrated into these sensors and then they can go just about anywhere.

Rob Spiegel
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Smart sufers
Rob Spiegel   4/20/2012 11:55:30 AM
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Even if surfing has the reputation for being laid back, when it comes to competition, participants will do anything to improve performance. Just look at how performance-enhancing drugs proliferated. If MEMS improves performance, they will get the attention they deserve.

ChasChas
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Re: Smart sufers
ChasChas   4/23/2012 10:05:07 AM
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Now if we add a lite, powered, programmed exoskeleton to the person, they can be guided/prompted through the proper movements to enhance performance and to avoid injury. Like an instructor teaches how to fly a plane via dual controls.

 

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Smart sufers
Rob Spiegel   4/23/2012 2:42:16 PM
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Yes, this is like a virtual co-pilot. One application I've seen is that pro golfers and ball players are capturing their expert golf or baseball swings. Users can then match their own swings to the experts to see where they are matching for falling short of the expert's swings.

notarboca
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Re: Smart sufers
notarboca   4/23/2012 11:44:42 AM
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I imagine this technology has been available for some time in the movie industry, what with millions of budget dollars.  Glad to see the form and functionality has advanced to be useful to sporting pursuits.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Smart sufers
Rob Spiegel   4/23/2012 2:43:56 PM
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Interesting suggestion on the movie industry, Notarboca. How do you see this technology used in movies?

notarboca
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Re: Smart sufers
notarboca   4/23/2012 2:52:29 PM
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I have seen applications where Hollywood would dress an actor in a MEMS suit and use the feedback from it to "vitualize" them for use in CGI; much more lifelike than regular computer animation.  I think it has been used for video game design as well.

jmiller
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Re: Smart sufers
jmiller   4/23/2012 8:42:57 PM
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I wonder how far we are from being able to record the perfect golf swing and then compare yours to the one on the screen.  We all know several people will do whatever they can to improve their ability in the sports arena.  I don't think it will be long before the technology allows everyone to hit the ball like Tiger Woods.  Now the interesting part for me will be to see if the perfectly trained athelete will be as good as the naturally trained.  Can computers and science replace natural ability?  Or will science reach it's limits before human nature which can go the extra mile.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Smart sufers
Rob Spiegel   4/24/2012 11:31:04 AM
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I think this was the technology used in Avatar to get the facial expressions of the actors onto the alien characters. They fitted the actors with facial sensors so they could capture emotional expressions.

Charles Murray
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Re: Smart sufers
Charles Murray   4/23/2012 8:38:53 PM
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Rob: I believe they used a technology similar to this in the movie "Iron Man."

http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=229322

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Smart sufers
Rob Spiegel   4/24/2012 1:00:33 PM
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Nice article, Chuck. The article offers a good explanation for how body movement is captured for manipulation in movie making. 

Charles Murray
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Re: Smart sufers
Charles Murray   5/2/2012 9:47:13 PM
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MEMS was a nice step forward for moviemaking "mo-cap," Rob. Until they time moviemakers used special suits with luminous markers on them. MEMS gives much more realistic motion, I'm told.  

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Smart sufers
Rob Spiegel   5/3/2012 12:52:56 PM
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Yes, I can see why MEMS would provide a more realistic depiction of character movement. I would guess that it comes down to a greater degree of data and thus a higher detailed capture of movement.

Charles Murray
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Sports Science
Charles Murray   4/20/2012 5:25:44 PM
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A few years ago, there was actually a television show called "Sport Science," which was all about measuring athletic performance with sensors. It was actually a good show for engineers.

http://www.designnews.com/document.asp?doc_id=224250

 

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