sports innovation @ M.I.T.
innovation @ M.I.T.
Why Sports Products?
From a pedagogical perspective, sports products are an ideal topic.
Sports products typically involve one- to two-year product development
cycles thus, students can be involved through the entire product
development process sports development projects lend themselves
to small student teams projects are of manageable size that students
see as an entire system Students participating in the program
may well see products they've developed marketed (and their friends
purchasing them) prior to graduation!
From a business perspective,
the sports industry is always hungry for new products and ideas.
Industry leaders recognize the commercial potential of innovation,
particularly those that apply advanced aerospace technology.
" Optimizing Cycling TT Performance"
Seconds separate the top finishers in cycling time trial events.
Since 70% of a riders power is used to overcome aerodynamic
drag, reducing drag results in free speed. Cyclists
have been tested in wind tunnels, but test facilities had not
met the needs of all the stakeholders.
Total project immersion was used to uncover the user needs. Interviews
with team directors, professional cyclists, and bike manufacturers,
were coupled with in tunnel testing using a variety of prototype
test environments. From these prototypes, a test system was developed
to meet the needs of each of these stakeholders.
A special bike test structure was developed to minimize its interference
on the bike/rider. A data acquisition system was installed that
records, analyzes, and presents data specifically needed by each
stakeholder. A rider feedback system was developed that provides
video feedback of the riders position along with real-time
data so that the rider can observe the effect of subtle position
changes on his/her drag.
and Ice Interface Failure Analysis"
Ice climbers use ice screws to secure their safety ropes to ice
walls. Climbers experience a variety of different ice types in
the field. often leading to unsafe conditions. Due to lack of
trust in the protection, the word from the ice wall is dont
fall! The project objective was to develop a means of testing
ice screw performance in various ice conditions in a controlled
Creating ice: Good ice samples, typical of clear solid
ice seen in the field, were created by freezing normal tap water
into PVC containers. Bad ice samples, typical of aerated
ice seen in frozen waterfalls were created by freezing a 3:1 combination
of normal tap water and carbonated water.
Ice screw testing: 43-13 cm, hollow, heat-treated steel ice screws
were inserted into one of the two ice types at placement angles
of 30º, 0º, or 30º. The screws were pulled
out at load rates of either 25 mm/s (fast) 0.25 mm/sec (slow).
A lower load rate was found to increase the failure load, so climbers
should use more ice screws to increase safety. A placement angle
of 0º was found to be best for both ice types. High-speed
video footage provided evidence of a qualitative difference between
the failure modes of the fast and slow load rates. Fast loading
rates caused the ice screw to swiftly slice its way
out of the ice. The failure mode at slow rates was characterized
by the ice screw suddenly popping out of the ice.
future of Sports
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Registration: 18:30-19:00, Conference: 19:00-21:15
van Amsterdam - School of Sports and Nutrition,
Auditorium, Dr. Meurerlaan 8, 1067
CEO, CFO, President, Van Merksteijn Motorsport
moderated by John
Business Development Manager,
is offering lighting designers, architects and creatives from
all disciplines a unique OLED technology starter kit,
so that they can discover for themselves why OLEDs are going to
be the lighting sensation of the coming years. This kit includes
an information pack and DVD explaining the technology behind OLEDs
and outlining possible future applications. It contains several
OLEDs of various shapes, structures and colors, enabling people
to experiment with and experience the amazing effects of OLEDs
for themselves. More details about how to use the OLED samples
are included in the information pack.
Spectacular new range
of lighting effects
OLEDs are very versatile
and can vary incredibly in color and brightness. Whats more,
they can create homogeneous light surfaces in almost any shape,
pattern, vibrancy and color. Thanks to this versatility, OLEDs
can create a spectacular range of new and innovative lighting
effects that can enhance the look and feel of almost any environment
in fresh and innovative ways. And now, as a result of significant
investment and several technological breakthroughs, Philips
OLEDs will shortly become commercially available. As a result,
we can expect designers, architects and consumers to be using
OLEDs in a variety of contexts over the next few years.
of Amsterdam blog
of Amsterdam blog
March 3: Transformative
October 6: ... Just as Beauty lies in the Eyes
of the Beholder … is Wisdom found in the Mind of the Receiver
21: Future Connectivity: Healthcare Revolution
for Community Development
August 5: Music 3.0 and the rocky pre-media past
about the Future
The Ecological Forest Train of the Iguazu National Park is used
as alternative transportation and is powered by gas a system
without environmental impact. It was created exclusively for this
Park; its design takes into account the special characteristics
of the weather and the surrounding leafy nature. The train is roofless,
for the visitor to be in direct contact with the environment and
to live the experience of a ride in the middle of the forest, perceiving
the aromas, weather changes and the sound of the wood. The train
travels at 20 km/12 miles per hour in order to avoid running over
an animal and it is powered by liquated petroleum gas for a lower
environmental impact. The train can accommodate 50 passengers per
It was brought specially
from England where it was designed by Alan Keef Ltd., a company
which specializes in excursion trains and has built highly successful
transports for parks throughout Asia and Europe.
fauna corridors, biodegradable oil, engine wash system, railroads
maintenance, facilitate transportation; the new railroad plan used
the old road safeguarding the biggest trees.
Japanese researchers have developed a revolutionary type of glass
that can show visually how loud a sound is and which direction it
is coming from on a transparent display. Unlike ordinary sound measuring
instruments, the Soundglass shows information on sounds emanating
from the area that can be seen through the transparent display. Its
applications include monitoring noise at electric power plants and
other facilities to check for anomalies.
Price of Perfection: Individualism and Society in the Era of Biomedical
By Maxwell J. Mehlman
Few would question the necessity of artificial limbs for amputees.
But what of surgery to lengthen the legs of children who are merely
shorter than average? Hardly anyone would challenge the decision
to prescribe Aricept to people with dementia. But is it acceptable
to give the same medication to airline pilots seeking sharper mental
focus on long-haul flights?
Humans have engaged
in biological self-improvement since long before recorded history,
from the impotence-curing wild lotus brew of the ancient Egyptians
to the herbal energy drink favored by early Olympians. Now biomedical
enhancements are pushing the boundaries of possibility and acceptability.
Where do we draw the line? How do we know the true ramifications
of pioneering medicine? What price are we willing to pay for perfection?
Maxwell J. Mehlman's
provocative examination of these issues speaks to fundamental questions
of what it means to be human. He finds public officials ill-equipped
to handle the ethical, scientific, and public policy quandaries
of biomedical enhancement. Instead of engaging difficult questions
of morality, access, fairness, and freedom, elected officials have
crafted toothless and counterproductive laws and regulations.
Mehlman outlines policy
options to boost the societal benefits and minimize the risks from
these technologies. In the process, he urges the public to face
the ethical issues surrounding biomedical enhancement, lest our
quest for perfection compromise our very humanity.
by Michael Akerib,
The future will forever
remain unknown to us. As time passes and we approach it, just
like the horizon, it moves ever further away. Knowledge and analysis
gives us occasional glimpses; our feelings and fears lead us forward
or hold us back; our intuition leads us into choices we are either
able to contribute to or simply imagine and perhaps through our
participation in the collective unconscious help forge.
This column plans
to explore some of the issues that are shaping the future in an
unorthodox manner - blending facts, visions and dreams, in other
words both hemispheres of our brain.
We will be looking
at some major innovations, but above all we will reflect on the
stream of life in attempting to guess its direction and perhaps
throw a stone or two in it or build a small dam. We will attempt
to be less tied to the present than we naturally tend to be so
as to allow our eyes to look into the distance in an attempt to
apprehend the coming changes.
will not limit themselves to technology, innovation or business
models but will also cover changes in the way we perceive ourselves
and the society we are constructing.
Perhaps the uncertainty
of our future, the radical changes it will bring about, will appear
to be less dramatic and less frightening, but stem out of our
imagination and our will.
Let us transform
the way we think, let us move into the future.
No doubt the most
crucial question about our future is the involvement of the state
into our lives both directly and indirectly.
The indirect impact
has been felt particularly in the banking and insurance sector
over the last year or two with governments, and in some cases
foreign sovereign funds, stepping in to selectively save some
of the institutions through guarantees, massive injections of
cash and transfer of 'junk' paper. These actions have created
such a large sovereign debt that the financial stability of several
states has been severely shaken and government default has become
a credible threat.
Debt management has
become such a central issue that it severely constrains the power
of governments to implement their policies, whatever the platform
and promises on which they were elected.
Social spending and
reforms will inevitably be curtailed in situations where demographic
changes require, on the contrary, substantial increases in budgetary
allocations in selective areas such as health care for the aged.
The extremely fast pace of technology requires constant updates
to research and teaching facilities lest the race of technological
dominance is lost. That too, requires an abundance of capital.
Creating a knowledge society does not come cheap either. Funds
will also be needed for security reasons both in the developed
countries and in foreign military undertakings.
Foreign aid will
be reduced to a trickle leaving millions undernourished, undereducated
and converting some of them into illegal migrants and the vast
majority into a cheap labor pool producing cheap, and probably
shoddy, goods that will help counter inflation.
The modern state
is a complex system in which policy is born out of conflicts of
interest of a multitude of parties - industry, financial services,
commerce, trade unions, civil society, etc. As the relative strength
of each party varies, policies change leading to an unpredictability
of the state's actions. As government interference increases,
so will uncertainty, and apparent irrationality, and therefore
investors will stay on the side lines as they abhor uncertainty.
As the preference
of government will vary, so will the fortunes of specific groups.
Inevitably the clear winners will be those with the strongest
voice, overruling majority consent. The others will have to accept
increased pressure of taxation, inflation, exploitation, unemployment
To avoid social upheaval,
the state will have to increase controls and we may well move
gradually into an ever more invasive society on the scale of the
individual. The social alternative of providing bread and games
will not be affordable to already highly indebted governments.
Is the era of democracy
drawing to an end or are there options available to governments
to avoid the unfolding of such a dire scenario.
In countries where
the tax level has not already reached the point where the owners
of capital feel unjustly burdened and are prepared to leave the
country - or at least transfer their holdings to countries with
more favorable tax systems - governments can increase tax receipts.
This is particularly true of the United States.
intrepid entrepreneurial individuals to lead their countries down
new paths of prosperity and freedom without making financial demands
on government budgets will not prove easy. Cohabitation of public
and private enterprise is a difficult undertaking as the very
notion of ownership and control is put into question - it must
remain with private capitalists rather than be a tool for civil
servants to exercise their discretionary power. Mentalities must
change - economic growth and development must be the name of the
game, not political power and deficit management.
a moment of truth - following a restrictive policy or establishing
a coherent growth strategy to reduce debt by allowing their countries
to generate growth and wealth. There should be no hesitation on
(There has been a mix-up in the original, mailed version of this
Club of Amsterdam Journal. We apologise! - Editor, Club of Amsterdam
Portrait: Jonathan C. Peck
Jonathan Peck is President of the
for Alternative Futures (IAF) and its for-profit
subsidiary, Alternative Futures Associates (AFA). Trained as a futurist
and political scientist, he provides a wide range of consulting,
speaking and facilitation. Mr. Peck also designs and directs research
programs and projects that help a variety of organizations use futures
studies. His work fosters visionary leadership, scenario-based strategic
planning and creative learning opportunities for a diverse clientele.
As a consulting futurist, Mr. Peck develops techniques for transformation
that enable IAF to serve as an effective change agent for leaders
in business and government. He is a certified practitioner of the
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and has integrated psychological
concepts from the field of organizational development into futures
studies. This combination has proven valuable for facilitating vision,
mission and strategic processes that help leaders create change
through learning. He regularly consults with boards of directors
and senior executives, for clients that include Fortune 500 companies,
professional associations and government agencies.
Communications, Health, and Infomatics Intelligence
Jonathan has spent years directing projects on health futures for
various clients in the public and private sectors. During this time
he also consulted and forecast revolutionary developments for the
telecommunications and information sectors. This work made clear
that the three industries communications, health, and information
are converging upon exciting opportunities to create wealth
and health simultaneously.
His many projects looking to the future for healthcare systems
from hospitals, professional groups, and associations to multinational
corporations in Asia, Europe, and the United States prepare
clients for new opportunities. He has worked on the future of health
systems design, mental health care, molecular sciences, and the
health-information infrastructures in multiple countries.
Specific studies and projects led by Jonathan have forecast the
future of health care professions, markets, and diseases including
cancer and AIDS. His expertise has also been applied through consulting
contracts with businesses throughout the health care sector.
Evolution will lead people to higher levels of development,
resulting in a new global ethic. A new global ethic will lead to
better problem solving, helping us to sustain our current quality
of life in a world of up to 10 billion people.
A knowledge revolution will soon transcend, but include, the information
revolution weve lived through over the past two decades. Web
3.0 is going to give us access to knowledge that will increase learning
and improve decision making.
Our Season Program 2009 / 2010:
future of Sports
van Amsterdam - School of Sports and Nutrition,
Auditorium, Dr. Meurerlaan 8, 1067 SM
future of Music
Auditorium, Singelgrachtgebouw, Rhijnspoorplein 1, 1091 GC Amsterdam
[corner Wibautstraat and Mauritskade]
future of CERN
- World Trade Center, Metropolitan Boardroom of Amsterdam In Business,
D tower 12th floor, Strawinskylaan 1, 1077 XW Amsterdam
future of Bollywood
May 25 & 26,
on the future of TOURISM
lab in Spain.
Emporda in Catalonia, Spain
comments, ideas, articles are welcome!
Please write to Felix Bopp, Editor-in-Chief: