Advancing the Olympics with High-Tech Wearables
Ronald Monte | February 22, 2018
Our US team arrived in PyeongChang for the 2018 Olympics geared up with enough technology to make sure they come up winners in one of the coldest games on record.
From the technology that helps them perfect their training, to the suits keeping athletes safe and warm, the 2018 Olympics is being shaped by the incredible tech being used by competitors all over PyeongChang right now.
Let’s explore some of the amazing new technologies we’re seeing at the Olympics.
The US team came out at the Opening Ceremony in PyeongChang in the “most technologically advanced jacket every produced,” according to David Lauren, CEO of Ralph Lauren Corp, official designer of the US team’s Olympic uniforms.
These jackets come equipped with a battery pack and keep the athletes warm, even in the freezing South Korean temperatures. Since the first day, it’s been 11 degrees below Celsius, but these easy-to-use jackets have been keeping athletes in competitive shape. With the press of a button, our American athletes are toasty.
Keeping warm for those training in winter sports is no joke, as freezing temperatures affect everything from timing to flexibility. This jacket isn’t the first warming technology we’ve seen, with dozens of companies boasting warming socks, gloves, and boots. This high-tech wearable will be seeing advancements in products year after year.
Several Olympic teams are getting the edge on their game using different technologies.
The Dutch Olympic team is relying on Samsung SmartSuits to bring them the gold in skating. Installed right into the uniforms of several Dutch skating team members is a technology that is connected to the head coach’s phone, giving the coach full body position metrics in real time. While the athletes are allowed to wear it during training, they can’t wear it during competitions. However, training is everything! At this level of competition, athletes are looking to technology to fine-tune these little details.
The US ski team is using something called Halo Sport, a device created based on neuroscience to perfect an athlete’s workouts. This high-tech wearable looks like headphones and uses pulses of energy to strengthen athlete’s brains in order to give them the most effective workouts during a process called Neuropriming. You can watch how the US team uses it here.
Probably not the last technology we will see of this kind, neuropriming helps the brain’s response system while athletes are training. It puts the brain into a mode that Halo Sport calls ‘hyperlearning’. This way, the athletes training for the Olympics can optimize their dexterity and strength.
Possibly one of the most important topics for all athletes is safety. High-tech advancements in safety have also been shown this year at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics – worn by not just the US team, but the Austrian, Italian, Canadian, and some European teams.
One Italian company called Dianese has developed a safety technology for downhill skiers using physics, engineering, and computer science, and installed it right into their suits. This machine uses several sensors to detect when a skier is about to crash. Downhill skiers reach roughly 80 to 90 miles per hour, with the fastest skier going at more than 100mph. This amazing suit is built to detect a crash and inflate, minimizing damage to athletes.
With new companies starting up every day and offering high-tech wearables, it is expected that our athletes will improve bounds – bringing even more excitement to the next Olympics.
Plus, the popularity of all these items is expected to reach consumers all over the world, with companies scrambling to keep their products in stock for the market. As technological advancements increase, we can expect to start seeing some of this technology reach into our daily lives.