While “smart” surfing may seem like a bit of a paradox for a sport well renowned for its laid-back participants, Lazerand claims it helps him to become a better athlete.
“It’s helped me become more consistent,” he said, noting that the data allowed him to adapt his cross-training to match his surfing style. “You have to be mentally and physically prepared, and the data I get from the Sys-Evo helps me do that. I’m not a tech guy, but this is really cool.”
The culmination of five years of research, the Sys-Evo is apparently so lightweight that some surfers have asked if the firm could possibly make it a bit heavier, in order to weigh the nose of the board down more on difficult waves. Users can also input data before surfing, like tides from the online tidebooks, which not only helps surfer safety, but can also tell the user when the best tide moment will be and where.
Surfboard equipped with Syride's MEMS-enabled Sys-Evo device.
The module itself contains a nine-axis accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, and allows for data to be collected both in and out of the water. “Surfers are big liars; they always want to brag and exaggerate to friends about the height of waves and their performance, but MEMS eliminates that,” explained Lazerand, joking that he’d even tried to hack his device to change the data after several instances of poor personal performance.
Not all surfers are particularly keen to adopt the new technology, however, with Lazerand noting that many were still a little wary of the technology. “I’ve had the most success with younger kids who love video games and grew up with the availability of data collection,” he said.
Whether the trend will spread or eventually dissolve, however, remains to be seen.
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.
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.
It won't be too much longer and hardware design, as we used to know it, will be remembered alongside the slide rule and the Karnaugh map. You will need to move beyond those familiar bits and bytes into the new world of software centric design.
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