A revolutionary unobtrusive sensor that collects and immediately transmits data from the human body could boost British sporting success in future.
Cufflink-sized and clipped behind the wearers ear, the sensor is unique in two key respects. First, it does not hinder performance, yet can gather unprecedentedly wide-ranging and useful data about posture, stride length, step frequency, acceleration, response to shock waves travelling through the body etc.
Second, when worn by an athlete during training, it can transmit the information for immediate visual display on a handheld device or laptop used by their coach at the trackside. The coach can then harness the data to shape the on-the-spot advice and instruction they give the athlete regarding technique. By instantly adding to the value of every training session, the sensor can therefore deliver better sporting performance.
Currently under development at Imperial College London with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Governments Technology Programme, the new sensor and its potential contribution not just to sport but also to wider healthcare will be outlined at this years BA Festival of Science in York.
The sensor were working on is inspired by the semicircular canals of the inner ear, which play a key role in controlling our motion and balance, says Professor Guang Zhong Yang, who is leading the project and will deliver the presentation on 13th September. Professor Yang is a world-renowned pioneer in the field of Body Sensor Networks (BSN). His multidisciplinary project team is utilising a range of expertise, including computer science, electronics, engineering and biomechanics*.
Crucially, the new sensor does not cause discomfort and, because it is worn behind the ear, does not adversely affect aerodynamics. The data it generates therefore provides an authentic and realistic indication of how the wearers body wo
|Contact: Beverly Silk|
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council