Future Olympics could feature ‘spray chambers’ which produce personalised spray-on suits from an aerosol can and 3D-printers, researchers say.
The new technological development was just one of many examples that are set to fuel future lab-assisted athletes at the summer games. There is a new wave of sports engineering taking place across the globe, with experts saying that every sport- from swimming to skiing to the shot put – will benefit from scientific advances in materials, coaching techniques and tools that will continue to shave milliseconds off record times.
A new report has recently been released that looks into how these new technologies are set to impact the world of sport. Conducted by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, “Sports Engineering: A unfair Advantage?” addresses how science can work with athletic committees and governing bodies to improve the competitiveness of sport.
The researchers are keen to avoid new accusations of ‘technology doping’, which is why they have urged sports regulators and governing bodies to engage with scientists earlier to ensure technological advances push the boundaries as far as they can while staying within the rules.
Steve Haake of Britain’s Sheffield Hallam University, who is regarded as one of the world’s leading sports engineers said: “In sports engineering, the place we start is with the rules. And the rules of what is allowed are often quite strict, but the rules of what is possible are defined by Newton et al – they are the laws of physics.
“We do a lot of horizon gazing. We will look for anything that might allow us to get some kind of advantage. We look at all the things that can be done, and then we see what would fit within the rules.”
As well as highlighting the spray chambers, the report also noted performance analysis sensors as being an exciting new technological development. The sensors could soon be routinely embedded inside the body, giving continuous data on physiological changes during an athlete’s training session.