Helmets keep all athletes aware of the game equally.
Inspiration from Nature
Rosy Tritonia can align its body to the magnetic axis of Earth.
Sports, particularly field sports, are not entirely fair despite having the same rules for all. A sport is essentially about how we ‘respond’ to a given situation. Even a tennis player who serves first, or a boxer who lands first punch, essentially reacts to a set of visual (and other form of) cues. An equal accessibility to all the information available to human senses at all the time, is a measure of the fairness of a sport. For example, a chess board is fully visible to both opponents at the same time. This definition of fairness is crucial to the sports which involve a high rate of physical contact between players such as ice hockey and football. How can we ensure that all athletes are equally informed all the time and there are no surprise hits? So, a collision between two athletes is solely a matter of decision, strength and skill (outcome of a week judgement). A wearable needs to be designed for American football, as a case, which bewares an athlete of every movement on the ground save those which he/she chooses to skip.
One of the curious findings of Nature Review concerned human beings. We often forget that we are a part of Nature. And one of the greatest strengths we have is language. Orientation (and the sense of orientation) as demonstrated through language is a broad area of research in human cultures. For example, people of Zambales province of Philippines give directions with reference to North, South, East and West instead of using words like Left and Right. And bio-mechanic experts locate coordinates in terms of relative and absolute points of the body. Orientation in other life-forms is demonstrated in myriads of ways. Sea slugs (Rosy Tritonia) have the ability to align their bodies to the magnetic axis of Earth. This is a sense which humans do not possess intrinsically. If this new sense could be immersed into ‘human experience’’, new design possibilities would emerge for athletes to orient themselves correctly on the field.
Mobile marine-sensor platforms already use such technology. An athletes’ movement can be traced down using thermographic tracking. Emotive EPOC system gives one an ability to control something directly through brain. Conventional helmets could be upgraded for projecting augmented reality holographic imagery. A list of technologies (shared below) may be brought together to give athletes a safe as well as ‘fair’ sporting experience.
A football helmet is designed which can track body movements across the field (1-3, 10). It is not connected to any off-field source and- using magnetic axis of Earth- provides an athlete with better awareness of his/her surroundings. It projects augmented reality of the moves which brain considers to make. The holographic projection (5, 6) is based on algorithms working to grade all possible actions against given biological state. This keeps an athlete aware of all advances around him/her. Live feed of the surroundings (8) can be shut off at the instance of thought (18, 19, 22). Relative and absolute variables of time, precision and stamina etc. are available to athlete all the time but not binding in any way.
Following are some useful resources from the design process of this nature gadget.
Row1Column1: Closeup of a Sea Slug
Row1Column2: Sea Slug Sensors
Row1Column3: Earth Magnetic Field
Row1Column4: Magnetic Orientation of Sea Slug
Row2Column1: Magnetic Field Alignment Experiment
Row2Column2: Mobile Marine Sensor Platform
Row2Column3: Alignment in Magnetic Field
Row2Column4: An Example of Football Strategy
Row3Column1: Thermographic Tracking
Row3Column2: VICIS Zero 1 Helmet
Row3Column3: Athlete’s Point-of-View
Row3Column4: Emotive EPOC (Gadgets Controlled Directly by Brain)
Row4Column1: Plasma-Laser based Hologram
Row4Column2: 3-D Projection Technology
Row4Column3: Holographic Vector Display
Row4Column4: Touch-Sensitive Hologram