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This week's feature

How technology is revolutionizing sports

The prestigious marathons of 2015 have all been run and the Rugby World Cup has just finished. But that doesn’t mean that athletes, professional and amateur, should put away their equipment and call it a season! With all the technological advances these days, there’s (almost) no excuse for not working out.

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It’s easier than ever to measure your athletic performance, and improve it. Apps, smart clothing, sport bracelets… data is becoming more and more important in sports. So get up and get moving, to the tunes of our workout playlist. Save this peppy line-up on your smartphone: these tunes will provide all the get-up-and-go you need. On today’s slate is sports, innovation, world records, and fun. On your marks, get set… go digital!

Technology is progress; it’s good for sports. It’s good to see world records broken, and it’s not smart clothes that are breaking records – it’s athletes.

Mary Mohler Descenza – American swimmer and two-time world champion.

Technology’s role in breaking world records

Back to the future - November 04, 2015

1974: Winning 95.7% of his matches, American tennis champ Jimmy Connors is ranked number one world-wide and racks up the records with the help of his Wilson T2000, the first metal round-head racket.

1993: Scottish amateur cyclist Graeme Obree twice broke the World Hour Record on a bike he jerry-rigged with pieces from his washing machine.

2010: A slew of world swimming records had been smashed following the introduction of 100% polyurethane full-body swim suits. They are deemed an unfair advantage and banned from use in international competition.

2015: To improve refereeing and to rein in record-high scoring, goal line technology is put into use by the French, German, and Italian football leagues to verify that the entire ball crosses the goal line before the referee officially rules a goal.

2024: For the 2024 Olympics, the electronic patch comes into use. It measures heart rates of athletes trying to break endurance records.

wilson-performance-technology-records-sport-tennis

The Wilson T2000 even doubles as a guitar © Sports Illustrated

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Sport 2.0 gets its own exhibition

Stories - November 04, 2015

The temporary exhibition “Sport 2.0” is being held from October 23 to February 28 in Nice, France. Visitors are invited to explore the various connections between sports and digital technology. “Sport 2.0” is made up of 7 sections: home, wellness, digital technology for performance, e-fitness, e-sport, a connected stadium area and a media center.

The initiatives shown in the exhibition include “Pop’s”, a solution which stands at the core of connected devices made for sports. “Pop’s” transforms any object from our daily lives into a connected object, without a smartphone. For example it can be associated with a heart rate monitor to generate the heart rate and the geolocation of an athlete. Now why not try it for yourself?

Expo Sport 2 0 © Musée National du Sport

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3 questions put to a diabetic mHealth runner and cyclist

The 3 questions - November 04, 2015

No way Swedish cyclist Magnus Lindström was going to let diabetes run his life. On the contrary, he decided to adopt new technologies to push the limits of his disease.

Orange Pop: Could you explain the principles of the mHealth Grand Tour?

Magnus Lindström : The mHealth Grand Tour is an “epic” cycling tour that provides support for competitors. This year’s course (2015), 1500km with 22km of uphill grades from Brussels to Geneva via Paris, is a ride like no other. It shows what is possible for people with diabetes and demonstrates how innovative technical solutions can address the challenge of managing diabetes.

O Pop: In terms of technologies, how exactly does it work?

ML : All diabetics rely on technology to some extent. At this event we have the opportunity to use the latest medtech (medical technologies) to push ourselves. We can’t use diabetes as an excuse. We are given all the tools necessary to manage the medical parameters, despite the fact that the most important medtech gear is still unfortunately our brain. Thanks to tools like CGMs (Continuous Glucose Monitor) we can monitor the amount of carbs burnt every hour. It helps you make the right decisions to manage your diabetes. If you ignore your body and the data you end up in the support car and can’t finish the Tour… not exactly the goal of most of the riders on the Tour…

O Pop: More generally, how can technology help people who practice sports?

ML : Before I discovered the world of medtech, I wasn’t sure that I could exercise. All my attention before an event was focused on controlling my glucose level. Would it be too high, too low, flatline? Would I collapse because of low levels? Now my mind is focused on the training or racing, and it works. The Medtronic 640 pump with CGMs (enlite) and insulin auto stop function has saved me many more times than I could count. The right tools and right mind set will get you there. Thanks to tech, I have been able to run and ride countless kilometers. I am also doing cave diving, and plunged deeper than 100 meters – it’s beautiful down there! I have done an Ironman. It’s tough, but the feeling of crossing that finish line is indescribable. I have done the mHealth Grand Tour and I didn’t use the free seat in the support car. My diabetes didn’t stop me but it did challenge me. Never stop challenging your diabetes.

Magnus’s next challenge is the London Marathon. He is running for a good cause – feel free to support him here.

mhealth-sport-performance-Magnus-Lindströmjpg

Magnus Lindström is always up for a challenge. © M.L/Orange

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Will the next sensor will be… edible?

Stories - November 05, 2015

The CEO of Jawbone, a company specialized in sports wearables, announced in October that his teams were working on a surprising new project: a new kind of sensors in the form of a pill meant to be swallowed, reports Fortune.

This pill’s goal is to collect and analyze data about your organism. This concept could please athletes who keep a (very) close eye on their bodily performances!

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Survival kit for the digital runner

The infographic - November 04, 2015

Apps for music and calorie-burning gauge – A bracelet to measure performance – Smartglasses to shoot film or see data in real-time (weather reports, etc) – Bluetooth wireless headset – Sensors in the soles to analyze step and stride quality, sprint counts and speeds.

infographic-sport-technology-performance-dataviz-running-connected

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And the No. 1 fitness trend for 2016 is…

Stories - November 06, 2015

Sports wearables are expected to be the No. 1 fitness trend in 2016, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. As you’re probably already aware, wearable technology can be found in clothes and accessories. They include sensors making them connected devices – they can come in the shape of smart watches, activity trackers, e- textiles or smart glasses for instance in the sports field.

The 2016 fitness rankings also mention other “traditional” sport practices, such as as personal coaching and yoga. Different strokes for different folks. 😉

2016 Fitness trends

© American College of Sports Medicine

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Top 5 sites for sports weekend warriors

Gimme 5 - November 04, 2015

1. Earn rewards for your efforts. That’s the idea behind the site runningheroes.com, where your athletic exploits (recorded by the most popular sports apps) can win you coupons and promos.

2. Speedo Fit: For amateur swimmers, the app Speedo Fit keeps track of how many kilometers you’ve swum and lets you know when you’ve clocked the equivalent of the English Channel, the Mediterranean Sea, or the Pacific Ocean (across and back!).

3. NTC: Without a doubt the most popular running app, Nike Training Club offers a digital coaching system with personalized training developed by top-flight athletes sponsored by Nike.

4. Yoga.com Studio: After all that strenuous exercise, you need to know how to relax body and soul. For this, the app yoga.com Studio offers home yoga lessons that help you relax and improve your flexibility.

5. 7-Minute Workout: No excuses for not breaking a sweat now. The app 7-minute workout provides a daily physical regime that’s only 7 minutes long, the perfect solution for busy folks.

running-heroes-app-running-amator

Running Heroes, the site where your effort earns rewards © runningheroes.com

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Impressive video of a skier made with a GoPro

Stories - November 09, 2015

Surfers usually film their performances with a GoPro, and so do fans of skiing – Martin “McFly” Winkler for example. In October, the skier tried to “snow surf” on a surfboard and he used a GoPro HERO4 to film his spectacular feat.

This new camera can record up to 120 frames per second, and is resistant to contact with the snow. Available to everyone, GoPro HERO4 makes it possible for skiers to share their achievements by filming themselves – some sort of “selfie of sports achievement.” 🙂

 

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With Anthony Gonzales, even your mouthguard is smartwear

Who's who - November 04, 2015

After a particularly violent hit during a rugby game, the American engineer Anthony Gonzales decided to develop the FITGuard, a smart mouthguard. This ingenious invention enables athletes to avoid cranial damage thanks to an LED system embedded in the mouthguard. This is good news, given that the number of brain injuries in contact sports has tripled in recent years, according to the Rugby Football Union of England. Now, thanks to Anthony Gonzales’s FITGuard, physicians have data on the physical shocks a player sustains, and coaches can immediately decide whether to leave him in the game or send him to the showers. Pretty clever.

FITGuard-mouthguard-rugby-sport-technology

FITGuard protects your teeth, and your brain © Force Impact Technologies

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Usain Bolt has helped designing high-tech headphones

Stories - November 10, 2015

Gibson has partnered with Usain Bolt to design the Trainer headphones. The legendary sprinter shared his experience in sports to help develop the product. These headphones include an arch as well as climate regulating cushions. Music is transmitted through wireless, and the headphones make it possible to hear ambient noise if necessary.

Usain Bolt revealed that music helps him get going. The sprinter may have inspired new headphones, but we have made the playlist to turn up your game! 🙂

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The playlist that gets athletes going

Music - November 04, 2015

A great playlist, along with a little technological help, can really turn up your game. We bet these ten tracks will pump you up. At number one, a sports-jam classic: Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor. Nothing like it to put you in champion mode. For all you marathoners, Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen is THE track. And for any athletic challenge, nothing beats Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye. Then keep it moving with Daft Punk’s One More Time!

  1. Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger
  2. Marvin Gaye  – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
  3. Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
  4. Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
  5. Kanye West – Stronger
  6. Muse – Super Massive Black Hole
  7. Beyoncé – Run The World
  8. Queen – We Will Rock You
  9. Katy Perry – Firework
  10. Daft Punk – One More Time

If you have a Deezer account, cue up this playlist on our account by clicking here!

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When should we stop measuring performance?

The killer question - November 04, 2015

Nowadays, new technologies can gauge our every effort and help us improve our performance and train more intelligently. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the latest gismo will turn us into champions overnight. There’s a risk of becoming obsessed with constantly measuring our prowess. Sometimes it’s wise to unplug an app or two, remove a piece of smart equipment, and focus more attention on the athletic goal. For some, like the movement geeks Quantified Self, measuring performance can become a goal in and of itself, resulting in an obsession with digital equipment that takes away from the actual sporting event. So, don’t forget, despite all the focus on smartwear and gadgets, the true smarts are in the athlete’s head.

sport-technology-datas-performance

Tomorrow’s athletes measure everything © huffingtonpost.com

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