Better insight for stars of track and field

Cambridge Consultants has created Technospecs, a head-mounted monitoring and display device that could help athletes optimise their training and performance without the need for sensors and cumbersome wrist displays.

A head-mounted monitoring and display device from Cambridge Consultants could help athletes optimise their training and performance without the need for sensors and cumbersome wrist displays. The glasses, dubbed Technospecs, are said to incorporate an athlete’s key biomedical parameters in real time.

For today’s athletes and their coaches, performance improvement depends increasingly on access to detailed biomedical data. Technospecs reportedly incorporate data capture and effective information delivery. Sensors measure factors such as heart rate and blood oxygen levels, and that information is delivered in real-time in the form of a head-up display.

The resulting ‘wearable laboratory’ is said to have great potential for use both in optimising training regimes and honing competitive performances, and Cambridge Consultants is currently talking with clients in the sports industry about transferring the technology to commercial products.

Behind Technospecs lies work on a number of technologies that will transform the technology concept into a commercial product. These include miniaturisation of optical and sensory electronics, mechanical engineering to optimise the positioning and stability of the sensors, electronics and battery, and signal-processing techniques to produce reliable measurements from an athlete in action. A key step in achieving a commercially successful product will be a cost and size reduction exercise to bring all the electronics together on a single dedicated chip.

Cambridge Consultants is also considering the possibility of adding a wireless communications link to the Technospecs chip so that an athlete could transfer performance data to a PC for detailed analysis.

Cambridge Consultants said the technology has many applications around the sporting arena. The sensor technology of pulse oximetry, which provides data on blood oxygen levels, would be particularly useful to mountaineers and skydivers. The head-up display technology could also present 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.