"The future is already here. It's just distributed unevenly." These are the words of Paul Saffo, a fellow at the Institute for the Future. And even the layman understands this concept very intimately.
Thanks to Moore's Law, we're just as informed by an encyclopedia of educational principles, as we are of a celebrity shitting the life bed in real time, and we do this so well, our brain can process this information while driving, or eating lunch (is there a burger more satisfying in life than the Frida Kahlo at Your Mom's Burger Bar in Austin?). And speaking of Moore's Law, it's finally making an appearance in combat sports.
A "smart vest" has been developed in an effort to more accurately tally punches. While the technology is specific to amateur boxing, there's no reason to think it can't potentially expand to other combat sports. For more on the technology itself, NewScientist has the latest:
Australian researchers aim to automate the scoring process by using smart fabrics to sense when a scoring blow has landed. Their system relies on vests adorned with vertical electrode strips placed 4 centimetres apart. A coin-sized Bluetooth transceiver in the vest feeds the electrodes with a 10 microamp current.
When a strip on the boxer's glove bridges the gap between two of the electrodes on the vest, it completes the circuit and the vest's overall resistance suddenly drops. The transceiver sends the change to a ringside computer.
An algorithm then decides if the signal means that a successful punch has been landed, or not. The contact must be maintained for between 10 and 150 milliseconds - any longer or indeed shorter and the hit is discounted. This is to ensure that only a real punch is awarded a point and holding or pushing is disregarded.
What's interesting about a development like this, is thinking about how technology will affect sports in the future. Just last year, an absorbent pad was developed to measure the sodium content in an athlete's sweat to properly measure their hydration levels.
The logic behind the absorbent pad is to analyze sweat samples during training rather than after, since sweat is contaminated once the body is at rest. Will we one day see fighters wearing absorbent pads while officials make sure dehydration is not imminent?
What else is next? Mouth guards with updated magnetic sensors that allow for MRI's in between rounds? Fight Metric to become the official judge in order to spare us from the idiocy of a Cecil Peoples, or Douglas Crosby? I don't know about you, but, I for one, welcome our new binary overlords.
Crossposted from HKL, which I hope you guys don't mind. I felt it was more fitting here than over there anyway.
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