Welcome to the Design for Sport newsletter. We hope you enjoy it and feel able to contribute to future editions - our aim is to showcase the role of innovation and great design.
Probably the biggest news in sport this month is the Olympic Torch relay. The political dimension of sport is rarely even mentioned by commentators and the media but it is always bubbling below the surface. China's very visible protective tactics and its insistence on the relay continuing in the face of opposition throws the spotlight very squarely onto the event and some are questioning the point of it.
Of course historically the Olympics have been a demonstration of Realpolitik, witness the boycotts of the 80's and further back the Nazi use of the games in the 30's.
We'd like to propose an alternative, virtual relay that involves real people and countries, but links them in a cohesive, non-divisive and engaging way.
A new cycling jacket has been developed that uses an accelerometer to sense movement. LEDs situated on the back and arms of the cyclist change from green when accelerating, then red when braking. The jacket, designed by Michael Chen, recently won the James Dyson International award in New York scooping him a tidy £6000.
Adidas have opened a new 'interactive retail space' in Paris that brings full customization to the masses. The Flagship store is fully computerized and after the customer takes a few steps on the catwalk-style scanner, the foot shape and size can be analysed. Not only can the user then personalize their shoe in an interactive virtual mirror, the shoe then stores the specific product information!
If you have always wanted to take part in the Olympics, but are not able to because you can't run the 100m in 9 seconds, here is your chance. The 2012 Olympic committee are recruiting up to 70,000 volunteers to cover duties such as stewarding, ticket issuing and looking after the athletes. Other more skilled volunteers are needed like language experts, medical personnel and referees.