Three innovations in sporting equipment by Nike, College Park and French designer Luc Fusaro that might just help shatter world records.
1 Pro TurboSpeed Suit by Nike
Made from 82 per cent recycled polyester and the plastic from 13 water bottles, the bodysuit features tiny, strategically placed dimples (similar to those on golf balls) to help reduce aerodynamic drag. Developed for track and field events, the garment was tested in a wind tunnel for over 1,000 hours; and data showed the suit performs 0.023 seconds faster in a 100-metre sprint than other Nike track suits. Squads from the U.S., Russia, Germany and China are currently sporting the suit in London.
2 Soleus by College Park Industries
Paralympians including Matt Brown, a discus competitor from the U.S., and Maya Nakanishi, a 100- and 200-metre sprinter from Japan, will wear the Soleus prosthesis in London. The brain child of Scott Sulprizio, a hang glider whose foot was amputated in 2001 after an ankle injury, the prosthetic was refined by manufacturer College Park Industries with the use of a sensor system to capture the various movements of users. The result offers a multiple spring design that allows users to easily shift their foot’s position from standing to walking and running; it also features vertical shock absorption and a weight limit of a whopping 275 pounds (or 125 Kg).
3 Designed to Win by Luc Fusaro
Weighing in at just 96 grams, this sprint shoe by the Royal College of Art student (who also collaborated on the design of the London 2012 podiums) is expected to shave off up to 3.5 per cent of a 100-metre sprinter’s time. Still in prototyping phase, the shoe is based on research by Dr. Daniel Toon, who determined that an athlete’s performance could be improved by tuning her footwear to the physicality of her feet; based on a scan of the feet, a 3-D printed, sintered nylon polyamide pair is created. Customized footwear for optimal perfomance isn’t new. Jamaica’s Usain Bolt – the fastest man in the world – wears a custom-made sprint spike on his Puma runners. Fusaro’s concept is expected to make its debut in 2016.