Mayday, mayday computer down

knowledge worker

Computer down: e-waste, legacy and  backup solutions..my clutter free desk ;)

I spend the better part of the last month without a computer to call my own – its a knowledge workers worst nightmare..or at least it was a decade or so ago.

Turns out I managed to survive the slow demise into reboot hell of my old machine, the tracking of my new machine through the machinations of a large bureaucratic organisation (university) out to the supplier, the shipping information as the custom build landed on our fair shores, its arrival into one of many loading bays (this is were it spent its greatest period of time BTW), looking at the signature on the receiving docket to find out who to hassle, on to IT who reimage the machine as an SOE (not always a great fit for R&D) and then on to me (to tweak said image), migrate files, passwords and preferences and then I’m happy again. Nearly everything is online now and except for generic email accounts (including the donotreply@… addresses) you can usually find a human attached to as well to keep the whole process moving along.
Work wise I seemed to survive quite nicely thanks to the liberal sprinkling (in different physical locations) of incremental backups from the old machine (done hourly) that I could pull files from. My email (a significant chunk of work flow) I had sometime ago aggregated all my email accounts into a single account for rainy days such as these where I could read, query and send (as an alias from) thanks to the kind people at google. Day to day work was carried out, albeit a bit slower, on some legacy (read out of warranty) machines I have floating about and together with a smart phone and tablet that could handle a lot of the day to day communications (and blogging) too.
Anyways the new beasty should see me through till its warranty  runs out? Why is the warranty so important, it comes down to time, anything out of warranty is a time bomb that none will touch or look at without some $$$ and if something goes wrong these days its the better part of the purchase price of a new machine to fix it anyway. As an engineer sure its fun to fix stuff, but costing up my time, and down time while parts come in, its often not a good trade off and a level of risk to day to day activities.

A safer form of Boxing…the conversation

boxingsensor1Some time back in the 2000’s we began developing a boxing technology for the AIS, it was exciting times and heady stuff (see Boxing Force Suit). The work was carried on by former Chief Scientist of the AIS Prof. Allan Hahn with many partners across Australia. Today Alan is the acting director of research at the Queensland Academy of Sport and an adjunct Professor at SABEL Labs, Griffith University, amongst a few other hats he wears.

Here is an excerpt from an article he wrote for the conversation as a review of the concerns and the possibility of a safer form of boxing where he suggests how we can make this and other combative sports safer using technology. Full article is here http://theconversation.com/taking-the-hard-knocks-out-of-boxing-to-make-the-sport-safer-39782

Taking the hard knocks out of boxing to make the sport safer


If banning boxing is not the answer then how to reduce the risks and make it safer? Flickr/WorldSeriesBoxingCC BY-ND

The tragic death recently of a young Queensland boxerraised the question of safety in the sport and whether boxing should be banned.

Claims that boxing is safer than a number of very popular and well-accepted sports warrant careful scrutiny as they often derive from overly simplistic analyses.

The risks associated with boxing should never be trivialised, but science and technology could possibly help to mitigate them.”

……

!Sports Technology Seed Funding for Startups

ASTN-logoThe Australian Sports Technologies Network has just announced some seeding funding for start up companies. Its very exciting especially as our Queensland node of the ASTN consists of many a SME enterprise based on great ideas but struggling to get over the hump financially. It was reported in todays Financial Review too.

Duncan Saville to invest in Australian sports technology start-ups

Here more from Craig

ASTN SECURES MAJOR INVESTOR TO SUPPORT THE AUSSIE SPORTS TECH INDUSTRY

Launches Expression-of-Interest to access Start-Up Seed Money

The Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN) is delighted to announce that it has secured The Australian Sports Tech Company as a key investor into the Australian sports technologies Industry. The Australian Sports Tech Company is an Australian-based investment company with strong global links in sports and technology.

The Executive Director of the ASTN, Craig Hill, says “This is a pivotal point in the development of the Australian sports technologies industry. The ability to attract an investor with both an interest in Australian sports tech along with a global reach is exactly what our industry needs to support high-potential, scalable start-ups. It also validates the work and direction that the ASTN has been building with its members over the past 3 years.”

John O‘Connor, Director of The Australian Sports Tech Company said “We are very excited to be able to back start-ups in the Australian sports tech space. We have a very optimistic view that with a mixture of initial seed funding and our global reach-  together with solid mentoring and connection program – that selected start-ups will be in a sound position for the potential to attract follow on funding from us in the very near future.”

Mr O’Connor further stated “The decision to invest in the industry is well-founded  based on the number  of quality start-ups  with real opportunity to quickly scale to global application.”

The ASTN and The Australian Sports Tech Company have launched an Expression-of-Interest to start-ups that are interested in securing initial seed funding from The Australian Sports Tech Company.

Expressions-of-interest close 5pm Sunday 3rd May . Full details are available at:
http://astn.com.au/key-activities/startup-investment-eoi/

For media and expressions-of-interest enquiries please contact:

Craig Hill
Executive Director
Australian Sports Technologies Network
+61 408 390 930
craig.hill@astn.com.au

Wearables are here and big brother likes it!

wearablesIn case you were wondering about the potential for your fitness tracker and big brother…its already arrived!

The idea of quantification of an athletes movement is something we have been using at the elite end of the spectrum for over a decade to help improve performance and reduce injury. With the popularisation of the technology in mass market, consumer devices like (shameless plug alert)  the excellent Jaybird REIGN the potential for the weekend warrior to improve their fitness and health is clear. Whats the next step, our work in big data and analytics tells us its the large scale aggregation of data from large populations. Here long term health and well being can be tracked and used by the err… forces for good!

But what’s around the corner? Well my MBA program director (yes I’ve been hitting the books as a student) produced a graphic novela on a distopian reality where everything is a metric and is up for sale ( you might like to read it http://isthisokay.com )

In his subject last year I was invited to look at some future scenarios after doing some technology predictions in the wearable space. This is new stuff to crystal ball and the scenarios varied from personalised shopping and eating, where the shop keeper knew you were coming and what you would want to buy, as too the restauranteur knew your favourite meal, where you like to sit, and how many calories you needed that day etc.. I thought some of these were a bit far out, even though they were consistent with the emerging technology trends. However blow me down if in the coming weeks I found that some of Australia’s banks knew when high value customers walked in the door and offered a prestige service (and no bout sniffed a sales opportunity). See below for a link on emerging technologies in banking. So too high end restaurants had clubbed together to do customer profiling, gathering data such as who were good tippers! (See below for a link to a range of technologies)fitbit-medibank

Closer to home, well at home actually, it seems that Flybys ( a shopping card that earns rewards points, all the while collecting detailed information about your shopping habits) is now offering rewards points for using it,  if you partner with….wait for it,  your health fund. Bingo! here are your shopping habits and what you buy (I hope its healthy!) coupled to how much exercise you do being made available to your health fund. On the plus side there is perhaps an opportunity for a premium reduction, thats the carrot…wheres the stick!!

Of course if fitness trackers aren’t for you, fear not, your probably already being monitored by your smart phone (iOS and Android) and they capture about 70% of you daily activity

Yikes!! I’ve been sitting for 1/2 an hour, better rack up some steps

References

Is this OK? Prof Nick Barters Distopian reality of the future http://isthisokay.com

Resturant customer tracking services http://streetfightmag.com/2013/07/22/6-tools-restaurants-can-use-for-better-guest-intelligence/ 

Flybuys and Fitbit http://www.flybuys.com.au/partners/fitbit

Banking trends http://www.cio.com.au/article/547615/how_our_banks_innovating/

Jono continues his sports tech adventure, this time in Italy

winter-school-2015It seems our latest PhD student Jonathan Shepherd is continuing his wandering ways, finding a way to duck back to Europe for some *cough* skiing research, read on to hear his story…

Between the 8th and 13th of March the International Society for Skiing Safety (ISSS – http://www.isss2015.com/ ) held their 21st congress in the spectacular San Vito di Cadore, Cortina, Italy. The event was preceded by the 5th International Sports engineering Association (ISEA) winter school which ran from the 4th until the 8th.

The winter school attendees comprised of 35 students from 12 different universities from all parts of the globe. In addition many senior researchers and industry partners also joined the group engage in the unique opportunity to engage in on-snow field research on the stunning San Vito slopes. The 9 research projects that were on offer to students crossed all parts of winter sports engineering with projects focused on biomechanics, equipment mechanics and classification of performance. Giving participants the rare chance to send an fully instrumented dummy hurtling down a ski slope or the oppurtinty to use inertial sensor based motion capture system in conjuction with an instrumented snowboard to assess landing mechanics and the impact of jump design. These projects and the required testing equipment was made possible with the aid of terrific industry partners, the San Vito snow resort management and the ISEA winter school organising committee. This meant each of the groups got to use the latest cutting edge technologies in ecologically valid testing conditions ensuring not only great data outputs but terrific hands-on experience for each of the participants.

After two days of field testing (in perfect bluebird conditions I might add!) and one day of data dissemination the winter school culminated in a mini conference were each group presented their research outputs. The quality of the presentations was outstanding – testament to the driven participates but also the support given by the senior researchers and winter school organisational committee. The senior researchers and industry partners were arduously tasked with judging our presentations – a tough task indeed. The prize for the top two finishing groups was to present later that afternoon at the opening of the ISSS congress.  Much to my shock the group I participated managed to win best group presentation with our study on the effect of dehydration on thermoregulation whilst alpine touring.

winter-school-groupThe ISSS congress that followed was an amazing collaboration of knowledge with all manner of stakeholders from the field of winter sports meeting with the common goal to improve snow sport safety. The scientific content of the conference brought together medical practitioners, winter sport research academics, snow sport management, and industry representatives. The seminar sessions were run to promote the cross fertilisations of these disciplines and the conference structure lead to many interesting presentations as well just as many interesting conversations over a cup of coffee. I was honoured to be able to present my paper from the work I had completed with Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Sports Engineering Research on Auxetic Foams for Snowsport Safety Applications.

As well as traditional seminar sessions the location of the conference allowed conference delegates to get hands on including an on-snow in a morning of field workshop, I got the chance to try my hand at alpine touring as well as disability sit skiing.

The conference was full of great social occasions too highlights including traditional performances from local choirs and dancing groups, sampling mountain food from the area, a picture perfect day skiing at Cortina d’Ampezzo and the final conference banquet.

My sincere gratitude is extended to Professor Nicola Petrone, his team from the University of Padova, and the ISSS board for their excellent organisation of both the congress and the winter school- what a thoroughly unique experience! I look forward to reuniting with everyone at the 22nd congress to be held 10th to 16th of April 2017 in Innsbruck.

Sports without borders conference, Melbourne 2015

sports-without-borders2If you like sport, what it can do for our communities and how its growing and changing (esp. with technology) then this conference might be for you.

Sports without borders conference

Friday, 1 May, 2015 – Moonee Ponds, Melbourne.

I’m not Racist, Sexist, Homophobic, but… Stop. Think. Change.”

The 2015 National Community Sports Conference, hosted by Sports Without Borders and Our Community, brings together the complete picture – sportspeople, club officials, volunteers, policymakers, government funders, federal and local government workers, peak bodies, and sports administrators. 

People from different cultural backgrounds, people who speak English as a second language, girls and women, gay people and people with disabilities face the challenges of being “outsiders” at sports clubs across Australia.

Discrimination in sport needs to be addressed and this conference brings debate, discussion and deliberation on some of the challenges sporting communities face to become more inclusive.

This conference will provide the inspiration and the practical support to ensure sports participants, administrators, volunteers and supporters have the tools they need to make our sports clubs the most inclusive in the world.

Key takeaways:

  • How to get more people involved in your club
  • How to foster an ethical and inclusive framework without compromising a winning spirit
  • Meet people who care about what you care about
  • Get inspiration for the year ahead
  • How to use social media to recruit and retain players and supporters
  • How to raise money without burning out your members

Our panel of speakers:

  • Master of Ceremonies: Paul Kennedy (Host of ABC Contact Sport and ABC Breakfast)
  • James Demetriou (Chairperson, Sports Without Borders)
  • Hon John Eren (Victorian Minister for Sport) – TBC
  • Dr Tim Soutphommasane (Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner)
  • Dr Emma Sherry (La Trobe University)
  • Professor Russell Hoye (La Trobe University)
  • Jenny Brockie (Journalist and host of SBS’s Insight program)
  • Shaun Burgoyne (Indigenous Hawthorn Football Club three-time premiership player)
  • Jason Ball (Government Liaison and Project Officer, Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre)
  • Dr Pippa Grange (Director, Bluestone Edge)
  • Rita Panahi (Media commentator, 1116 SEN Radio Host)
  • Jenni Cole (CEO, Disability Sports Australia)
  • Craig Hill (Executive Director, ASTN)
  • Andrew Walton (Director, Sales & Marketing, Interact Sport)
  • Patrick Moriarty (Fundraising specialist, Institute of Community Directors Australia)
  • Maria Dimopoulos (Managing Director, Myriad Consultants)
  • Patrick Skene (Director, Sport & Media, Red Elephant Projects
  • Peter Downs (National Manager, Play by the Rules)
  • Athalia Zwartz (Executive Officer, Initiatives of Change Australia)

The Q&A Panel Session returns with another hot topic: “What is the Cost to Sport?”

The Australian Sports Technologies Network will provide a Sports Tech expo with new and exciting gadgets.