Here in San Francisco, we are passionate about sports. Just check the TV ratings. That passion has merged with our fascination with technology to produce a growing list of applications that make sports safer and more fun to watch.
Technology has become an integral part of sports, both for participants and viewers. Athletes are using technology to play smarter or safer, and viewers are getting an increasingly immersive experience, both at the stadium and in the home.
This often creates a conundrum for sports leagues: How much should they embrace technology? Instant replay, for example, is an accepted part of American football, while baseball holds it at arm's length.
Greater proliferation, adoption
One of the earliest uses of technology was in horse racing, where thoroughbreds often crossed the finish line simultaneously and were moving so fast the human eye often couldn't distinguish winner from runner-up.
Assuming gambling had as much as influence on technology adoption as it has other sports, stop-motion cameras were rolled out at racetracks around the world.
What follows are nine of the most amazing technologies that sports and athletes have adopted. Click on the image below to check them out.
HeroCam took the world by storm when it was introduced. The tiny HD camera was quickly lashed to helmets, parachutes, racecars, motorcycles, and anything else from which a cool image could be captured. Enter Contour, which takes the technology up a notch. Contour's HD cameras have built-in GPS for trip, elevation, and distance tracking and Bluetooth capability to control a camera remotely. Apps are available to create multimedia stories that include video, data and maps.
Yes, Chuck, the technology of covering sports has greatly advanced in recent years. Even the talking-heads news shows have changed. The cameras no longer have camera people behind them. They're run remote control from the production booth.
For calling strikes and balls in baseball it would be most entertaining to let the umpire call the play first, and then report what the computer saw. Then the instant replays could be presented to solve the argument. The current problem is that the umps have 25 foot tall egos, which sort of outweighs everybody else.
But I don't watch baseball on television because of all of the commercials. The same for football. Seeing any gave live is fine, but with the delays for commercials it is not so much fun any more. High school games run much faster and they are a much better entertainment value.
Nice slide show, Brian. I particularly liked the BodyMedia and the horse racing camera. I know the horse racing media is older technology, but when you have a horse that's close in the photo, the technology seems amazing. One thing I didn't see was the Kissing Cam. But maybe that's covered by the Sky Cam.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Solar and wind energy are becoming more viable as a source of energy on the electric grid. For decades, the major drawback to solar and wind was that they’re temperamental. A cloudy day kills solar and a still day renders the wind turbines useless. Automation tools, however, are providing a path to help these renewables become practical.
In honor of Earth Day, the National Security Agency has launched the STEM Recycling Challenge in Maryland schools to encourage kids to think about where the garbage they throw out every day actually goes. The agency has also introduced “Dunk,” a muscular blue cartoon recycling bin wearing shorts and sneakers.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.