Sensors & Transducers e-Digest, Vol. 46, Issue 8, August 2004: Product News
(ISSN 1726- 5479)
Cambridge, UK, August 11, 2004 A monitoring and display breakthrough from Cambridge Consultants could give athletes the means to truly optimize their training and performance - without the need for the conventional armoury of sensors and awkward wrist displays. Instead, the athlete of tomorrow will just need to wear a pair of glasses, which incorporate everything needed to monitor and display key biomedical parameters in real time.
The sort of products that Cambridge Consultants envisages are smart goggles for swimmers, or glasses for distance runners or cyclists, providing real-time feedback on biomedical functions as well as timing data on the athletic performance in progress.
Behind Technospecs lies work on a number of technologies that will transform the technology concept into a commercial product. These include miniaturization of optical and sensory electronics, mechanical engineering to optimize the positioning and stability of the sensors, electronics and battery, and - most significantly - signal-processing techniques to produce reliable measurements from a moving, sweating athlete. One further intriguing implementation possibility is the addition of a wireless communications link to the Technospecs chip, so that an athlete could transfer performance data to a PC for detailed analysis, or to the trainer.
The technology has many applications around the sporting arena. The sensor technology of pulse oximetry which provides the data on blood oxygen levels would be particularly useful to athletes in extreme conditions such as mountaineers, skydivers and pilots at high altitude. The compact head-up display technology also presents opportunities in automotive sport where the ability to display sensor readings in a helmet or viewfinder could eliminate the need to look down at controls. Monitoring of real time physical data also has applications beyond sport, such as in the armed forces or emergency services.
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Patrick Pordage, Communications Manager,
Cambridge Consultants Ltd,
Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge,
CB4 0DW, UK
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