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MEMS in Sports

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Beth Stackpole
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Kick off time
Beth Stackpole   2/9/2012 7:05:10 AM
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Those are some pretty cool examples of MEMS in action on the sports field. Given a segment (and hopefully a growing one) of the population's focus on fitness and competitive sports, seems like a natural application and one that can really give athletes far more control over their training regimens.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Kick off time
Rob Spiegel   2/9/2012 11:32:01 AM
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Yes, this is an interesting use of MEMS. I remember a few years ago, a company started up that captured the golf swings and baseball swings of stars and sold a system that tracked the user's swings against those of the stars. Cools application for MEMS. Not sure how successful that company was, but it was a clever idea.

Charles Murray
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Sumo wrestlers
Charles Murray   2/9/2012 4:41:04 PM
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On Fox Sports Science a few years ago, MEMS were used to measure the impact of two colliding Sumo wrestlers. They also used MEMS to study Jerry Rice's football catching techniques. See below.

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

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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MEMS as a Killer Application
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   2/10/2012 12:03:43 AM
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Karen, I remember seeing that Freescale demo using the golf club.  At the time, it was very Out-of-Box innovation, and still is.  It reminds me of my R&D role at Motorola 10 years ago when many engineers were innovating with new emerging technologies and applying them as prototypes to every-day life applications (the origin of the "App" --- Marketing further coined the phrase, "Looking for the next Killer App").  

Various technologies are constantly maturing out of labs across the world, and the design engineering community is tasked with creating innovative uses for them in everyday life.  Your list of MEMS applications falls into that category.  So it's frustrating to me how mainstream advertising has brainwashed the public into thinking that "Apps" are only software downloads found on iPhones.

"Say you want to change the public's paradigm of what creative design engineering can do with MEMS .... There's an APP for that!"

vimalkumarp
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MEMS in Sports
vimalkumarp   2/10/2012 12:08:45 AM
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When Benedetto Vigna developed ST's first MEMS based accelerometer it was meant as a component for the entertainment industry beause it was used in Nintendo. See the impact that product has made.

Karen Lightman
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Re: Kick off time
Karen Lightman   2/10/2012 10:06:05 AM
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Thanks for the post, @Beth and I look forward to meeting you in person (yes?) at Sensors in Design/Design West next month!

Karen Lightman
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Re: Kick off time
Karen Lightman   2/10/2012 10:08:48 AM
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Thanks @Rob for the comment. Yes, I think what makes MEMS in Sports different now is that it is enabling much more than a "gee whiz" type of application (as in "gee whiz, look at what I just did in the lab") to applications that are designed to better interface with users in their environments (not just in labs). It's again, another example of the importance of design is so critical to the adoption of MEMS. 

Karen Lightman
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Re: Sumo wrestlers
Karen Lightman   2/10/2012 10:13:00 AM
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@Charles - that is so cool and I love the fact that you wrote that story in 2007. Thanks for sending me the link. And what's exciting now is that it's not just major league athletes (and Sumo wrestlers) who can benefit from the intelligent sensing of MEMS - it's folks like you and me - who want to use MEMS technology to work out "smarter" and more effectively. I look forward to seeing more examples of MEMS in Sports as well as MEMS improving quality of life (through sport). And thank you again for the post!

Karen Lightman
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Re: MEMS in Sports
Karen Lightman   2/10/2012 10:20:41 AM
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thanks for the comment @vimalkumarp - and you can see how far we've come since the Nintendo Wii! 

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Kick off time
Rob Spiegel   2/10/2012 11:08:36 AM
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I would also guess that as MEMS moves out of the lab and ends up in devices used by consumers, you would also see a much larger volume of production. Have you seen much larger volume in the production in the MEMS world in recent years?

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