IBike makes a number of products for cyclists that measure, rather than estimate, various cycling data. IBike offers iPhone- and iPod-based software apps (iBike Dash, shown here) and discrete power meter devices under the iBike Newton brand.
The bottom line is that sports have become more tough in terms of competition in the recent years. So apparently, yes, there is a connection between technology and people making use of it to do better in sports. However, there's a range of outdoor sports out there that don't necessarily need technology to make them even better. You could find some clues on AlarioBros. A lot of people find the resource appealing for what it has to offer them.
I agree, Rob. There's been a gigantic technology change in sports broadcasting. I can't even remember what it was like to watch a fotball game without stopping for a review. Of course, the networks love the review because they can insert a commercial or two while the refs are looking at the replay.
I don't know, Chas - the ump is part of the "mystique" of the game for me. Sure there are bad calls but both sides have to contend with it...I guess I'm just old fashioned but I think that technology should be limited in the sports arena. But then I don't even like seeing those computer generated first down markers - the guys on the sidelines with the markers and chains were always good enough for me LOL I think there are some really cool applications here and I can't tell you how many times I have played tennis, stared right at the ball, and when hubby called out across the court to me "Was it in?" all I could say was, "Uhhh...I don't know" so I definately see the value - just not sure in some cases that we really need to go there.
Calling strikes could probably be done in nearly "real time" if there were two video cameras located someplace behind home plate. They would see where the ball passed by the batter, and the algorithm to compare the balls location with the strike zone scaled to the batter's stature, and it could be a simple red light-green light output. Of course it could also show the pitch in slow motion with the strike window displaed in added graphics. The network TV people would love that part. And probably the system could report it's call as fast as the umpire could speak. That part would be quite entertaining.
Utiilization of technology to help with ball and strike calls is a neat idea, but it would definitely slow down a game that by many is considered to be too slow already. Maybe a red flag system as used in the NFL that limits the amount of allowed challenges would be a good thing.
It's been pretty fun to see the technologies evolve in the sports world. A lot of the developments are also the result of cross polllination with medical industries. There is probably a whole book's worth of stories covering this subject. Thanks for the "taste".
Brian--Excellent post. I think we all can agree that technology has provided tremendous value added to sports in general. I think improvement in equipment alone has been absolutely tremendous from football helmets to tennis rackets composed of carbon fibers. I think it's represents a great marriage and hopefully the trend will continue. This past summer, my wife and I visited Cowboy Stadium a few miles outside of Dallas. The scoreboard alone was worth the visit. This also is an example of technology, cutting edge technology, applied to the "games we play". Again, really good post.
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