[gallery] The sports field is constantly innovating in wearable technology and it is one of the many fields that I absolutely love. The possibilities to aid athletes and optimize performance are endless. "Athletes capitalize on advances from engineering, material science, biomechanics, communication and information technologies to maximize training and performance. ...Technologies are transforming every aspect of sport, including coaching, judging, even the design of sports arenas and spectator experience." (source)
Here are a few of the technologies that are either in use today or that are being explored for future applications (from left photo to right):
Wearable computers - are clothes that are embedded with electronics that monitor the athletes heart rate, breathing pattern, temperature, hydration and more.
Ingestible computers - such as thermometer pills wirelessly transmits body temperature.
Tool-less manufacturing - analyzes body geometry and allows direct digital manufacturing rather than molded dies for a true custom fit.
Biomimetics - borrowing techniques from nature to enhance performance such as the finely divided setae found on gecko's toes allowing the animal to stick to anything, even glass.
Carbon nanotechnology - artificial muscles made of carbon nanotubes that contract at faster speeds than human muscles allowing the wearer to adopt super human strength.
Computational fluid dynamics - using 3D body scanners, engineers can analyze skin friction and create body suites that optimize performance in air and water.
Reactive materials - protecting athletes from risky sports, materials with nanoparticles become instantly rigid as soon as kinetic energy is applied.