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March 2011 Newsletter

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.

The Social Network

After a long evaluation we've decided to make the newsletter even more sporadic and concentrate on communicating via Twitter.

Often news stories, whether from us or other sources are so fast moving that by the time the newsletter comes out the moment has passed, and frequently we don't have the resources to put together the quality of newsletter we'd like.

We'll be using it to post images of new designs, prototypes and what goes on around the office and workshop as well as Fowey and Cornwall in general. Plus all the latest news inside sport that we feel relates to design and technology.

We'd be very glad to welcome you as a follower and hope that you find the 140 characters as useful as we do.

Hawkeye and Sony

As everyone will know by now, Hawkeye, the motion-tracking firm has been sold to Sony. During a long period as the definitive way of following ball trajectories, both in tennis and cricket the firm has also been trying for years to break into football.

The product uses very high speed, high definition cameras placed at specific positions around the venue. It then analyses the images with computer programs originally developed to track missile and shell trajectories. Despite growth in the tennis area the firm has lacked the finance to lobby the soccer world and provide comprehensive demos of its equipment, which may be eminently suitable for goal line disputes, such as the infamous England world cup disallowed goal.

It will be very interesting to see how Sony's marketing muscle and cash injection will influence Hawkeye's growth in sport televising and whether it will be able to break through soccer's holy grail of referee autonomy.

Cool Lit-up Skateboards

The Clear29LT Lightboard by Flexdex is a trick new skateboard from the States with built-in LED's. The deck is made from Polycarbonate, or better known as bullet-proof glass and the LED's are mounted inside so as to produce a really cool glow effect. Power is from an on-board 9V battery.

The wheels are translucent too and provide a light guide for the glow, meaning the board really lights up.

Of course, you'd have to be a special sort of skater to go out at the dead of night and expect to see the various potholes and so on that we get in this country, but maybe it's better suited to the wide, flat tops of California!

Olympic News

Well the only news is the unedifying row between the British Olympic Association on one hand and the organising committee for the London games, LOCOG.

It seems as though the BOA have overstretched themselves and gone too far in appointing what many people have called unnecessary coaching and other staff as well as moving into a new HQ in central London.

Although it will not have any effect on the preparations of the athletes for 2012 since they are run by UK Sport it may well leave a PR disaster writ large on the legacy of the event - a point which LOCOG and Lord Coe will have taken very badly since that was the foundation on which the bid was won.

The IOC will rule on the argument but it seems inconceivable that LOCOG won't be sided with: - so that leaves Lord Moynihan looking very foolish and perhaps properly ready to fall on his sword.

Games of consensus anyone?

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