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Impact of Wearable Technology in Sports

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Posted March 28, 2019

Sport and sports people have long been a source of fear and admiration for people. Over the years and by improving our knowledge of the human body and its abilities, most of us thought we could not further improve our skills.

Free image via Pixabay

However, with advances in modern technology, we continue to impress each other with our improvements. Even if you’re not an Olympic gold medalist, spy glasses or hidden spy cam allows us to understand that using advanced technology can greatly enhance your own athletic performance – even if it’s a question of looking through one kilometer in one minute.

The different sports activities, in this case the modern athlete uses all the help he can get; from specialist help to dietitians to the latest and greatest technology. The data collected by technology is used to carefully dissect an athlete’s performance, identifying exactly where improvement is needed and where stress needs to be addressed. We are discussing here today’s clothing technologies that have an impact on the world of sport.

Clothing

Technology has influenced the performance of athletes in many ways. With this, it is now possible to more accurately determine the results before an event; it is also possible to analyze the performance before you can use these results to always better prepare. The technology can also be used to improve the equipment used, both for professional athletes and for amateurs. Finally, technology nowadays avoids a large part of injuries, which can sometimes be fatal for an athlete’s career.

Today’s modern technology controls everything from the heartbeat to calories burned, and the data collected can be analyzed in detail. Previously, only professional athletes had access to this kind of higher level surveillance available through sports science and expensive doctors, but nowadays, clothes are available for everyone and can be used for any, whether to play online casino games or to follow food choices.

And in a professional arena, the information provided by these garments is invaluable to team coaches, as using them can help track all aspects of player performance and fitness. This information can be used to improve the performance of an athlete as well as that of an entire team. The future of wearable accessories is promising, and the wearable products of the future are expected to be similar to Hexoskin, a shirt with sensors woven into the fabric to measure breathing, steps and calories burned.

Winning security: clothing as protection

While the International Automobile Federation (IAF) has always regulated the equipment used in racing, the standards have slowly evolved over the technical innovations, and the emergence of the concept of duty of safety towards pilots.

The beginnings of the Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1 is today unanimously considered as the queen-class motor sport. In the past, safety standards were stammering and we would now seem aberrant: no seatbelt 3, no guardrail to cushion shocks, no fire protection … The driver’s equipment is equally minimal: cotton shirt, gloves and leather helmet, as well as goggles, make up the regulatory outfit. The risks to the pilot are important and varied…

It was not until the 1970s that we saw the arrival of many safety innovations, such as the full face helmet, the fireproof hood or the six-point harness.

The turning point: the appearance of the flame retardant suit in 1977

The 1970s are probably the time when awareness of the importance of pilot safety is crucial.4 In 1976, Niki Lauda survived a crash but remained disfigured for life by her burns. From now on, the fireproof suit will be mandatory.The real revolution in the pilot’s clothing is the use of Nomex, manufactured by DuPont de Nemours. It is a technical fabric that guarantees a burn protection at very high temperatures.

Zoom on the normex

Zoom on the Nomex; matter of the champions Discovered in 1961, this synthetic fiber is a polymer whose intrinsic structure naturally gives it exceptional qualities of mechanical and thermal resistance. This is important because no surface chemical treatment is needed to strengthen the fabric. This material does not ignite, has a melting point of about 400 ° C and is also an excellent electrical insulator.

His companion Kevlar has the same formula but a different configuration, which makes it even more resistant but less flexible.

Thus, Nomex and Kevlar can be expertly combined to combine thermal barrier and optimal mechanical protection. And as in a good mid-season layering, we can also introduce an intermediate layer increasing breathability, for example. The combination, sponsor patches and seams are made in this material. The whole weighs only two kilos. The other side of the coin is that it is not very breathable and the driver loses about four liters of perspiration per race.

The underwear 5 is also in Nomex. If the outside of the gloves is Nomex, the inside of the gloves is leather: it allows a fine contact, resists abrasion and is insulating, the driver can then get out of his car by taking support on the bodywork in case of electrical problem. The boots are in Nomex; their rubber soles for its “grip” and its insulating properties. The filling, in cork on your shoes of city, is here in carbon to absorb shocks.

Finally, if you expand the clothing to the helmet – also doubled … Nomex – just know that it can withstand a shock of 400G 6 on a second and an impact at 500km / h. A complementary system, the Hans 7, is attached to the back of the helmet to prevent neck injury. In motor sports, improving the clothing has been a real survival issue. It has largely contributed to guarantee the safety of car pilots.

Gain in comfort: outfits at the service of movement

Tennis being an interesting case of modification of the garment giving pride to the comfort, we will now be interested.

From the shirt to the Polo

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Wimbledon tournament has been in existence for a quarter of a century. However, the tennis is not professionnalized, and the behavior of the players not yet completely adapted to the sport practice.It stems from fashionable city outfits at the time, namely the skirt for girls and the duet long-sleeved shirt / city pants for boys.The gradual abandonment of outfits began when René Lacoste, a member of the Four Musketeers winners of the 1927 Davis Cup, was created a polo jersey (equestrian sport) with a collar: the Lacoste polo was born.At the same Davis Cup, a bet with the captain of the team – a crocodile suitcase in case of victory – and his tenacity on the courts make him nicknamed by the American press “the crocodile”. Polo has just found its logo!

The appearance of technical subjects

All modern outfits are made of synthetic fibers, facilitating the movement and evacuation of perspiration. The majority is made of polyester. This subject is often hated in ready-to-wear, but we must not lose sight of the fact that we are talking here about technical subjects adapted to the practice of a sporting activity. Its synthetic fibers from petrochemistry are chosen in this context for their qualities of lightness, elasticity, robustness, and their ability to dry quickly. In addition, they can easily be combined with other fibers (elastane, nylon, etc.) to improve, for example, breathability. With the current evolution of technologies, gain comfort while remaining chic is no longer wishful thinking. The design combines with the technicality to obtain a garment in adequacy complete with the requirement of practiced sport. We can only rejoice!

Clothing as a guarantor of the social prestige of a sport Golf is a sport where the social function of clothing becomes meaningful. The facts show that the strict rules governing his practice in competition are modified only under the pressure of the players, and always to a lesser extent. In addition to these rules, players are required to adopt a code of conduct, called “etiquette”, against their opponents, the course and the organizer.

In the case of golf, good sportsmanship counts as much as the respect of the rules. According to “The Rules of Golf”, breaking “the spirit of the game” is punishable by disqualification. The rules of dress for the Pro Golf Association (PGA), the American equivalent of R & A, are very strict. Some lengths are even measured in inches! Are prohibited jeans, T-shirts without collar 8 and any garment with a slogan?

In training, the bermudas should not go more than four inches below the knee and the shirt should be tucked into the pants.

If bermudas are banned in competition for the players, the caddies may have been entitled to it since 2004 and the threat of Tiger Woods’ caddy to abandon his champion in full Ryder Cup. Women should also wear a collar but may not have sleeves. They have the choice between shorts and skirt 9 but have to opt for high socks.

Wearing a strict dress code a sign of non-evolution?

Respecting strict rules can be seen as a sign of respect for this sport with distant origins and codified by the elite. Or, conversely, as the last bastion of inter-social and social endogamy. It is true that many clubs accept a casual outfit for tourists, or for training, but do not give in to jogging.But the tradition is archet in competition, in this sport advocating a strong concordance between wearing and social behavior.

The maintenance of a strict dress code is intended to reflect a discreet and noble attitude, required in all circumstances. That said, it must be admitted that freedom of clothing is a symbolically important but negligible phenomenon for the practice of this sport, from the moment when the technical subjects are accepted on the courses. Indeed, like tennis, golf has benefited from the arrival of synthetic fibers in the composition of the garment: in addition to their strength and elasticity, research will aim here to make the clothing more insulating while remaining breathable, allowing to limit the accumulation of layers and thus reduces the impediment during the movements

The technologies of the future

Genetics is also associated with the world of technology, and in the future, coaches can use your specific genetic results to improve your athletic performance and your needs. The results of your genetic tests will be used to refine your diet to give you maximum energy in training and events, and to determine the type of training that would be best for your genetic makeup. These genetic findings will determine whether you should be doing weight training or more cardiovascular exercise, or if you are more vulnerable to injury or illness.

VR and AR in the world of sport

Virtual reality also comes to the fore and allows athletes to train without having to be on the training ground. With VR, we can monitor performance in a controlled environment, and this also allows the athlete to repeat a situation until he reaches his best result.

The athlete’s performance can then be analyzed and his results compared. Also, improvements can be suggested and realized in this virtual world.

Before the VR, the video was used to analyze the athlete’s past performance, but with the VR, the athletes can relive the game and perform the action repeatedly until that is perfect. And once the VR is gone – what will come next? Probably Augmented Reality where players will get live updates in real games or real-time games. This information would give those updates about their opponents and their possible weaknesses, with the possible use of the history of previous games.

Would augmented reality be fair for sports and athletes? Yes and no. Only if both teams have the same access to this type of technology. However, as with all sports and their improvements, do all parties have the same benefits? And speaking of fair play is all this technology involved in fair sport? Some people compare the use of technology to the use of steroids in the sport. Although this is a somewhat extreme comparison, some would say that a country with less access to technology would be seriously disadvantaged in the event of an Olympic event. So, in the end, the technology will be there, but we should ensure fairness in all sports, with proper rules in place. The use of sports technology to our advantage is essential, but not to the detriment of other competitors.

Written by Junaid Ali Qureshi

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