Kim’s unique perspective as the founder of MIT’s sports enterprise and long time sports engineering affectionardo is speaking on the rise of digital information in sport. Jay from think sport and Kim recently had a bit of a chat about it……. (Read the full interview here)
When Winning Is A Drag
We all know the advantages that innovation has brought to athletes in many sports with ways to enhance performance through technology. It has often been about reducing drag, from the skin suits worn by skaters to the dimples on golf balls to the latest in cycling technology.
In the early 2000s, working seriously to improve the aerodynamics of cycling was still a bit of a novelty, remembers Doctor Kim Blair formerly of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who has been at the forefront of sports innovation. “Using wind tunnels like the one we have at MIT was not something that everyone did. That changed as more people became aware that a five percent difference in aerodynamics can mean the difference between getting a place on the podium or not.”
A former NASA engineer, Blair first made the connection between technology and sport as a graduate student who was also a passionate triathlete and saw that aerospace design and sporting success had lots in common. Now he serves as an external advisor for the new sports innovation program based in MIT’s department of mechanical engineering.
“Sports organisations might not be the lead developers in new technologies, but they are often the first adapters,” he says. “That’s partly because there are low regulatory hurdles to introducing innovations, if you compare sport with the health sector, for example. And also because people in sports are willing to try new things that might give them an edge.”
The SPOT, a pioneering new event launched by ThinkSport, aims to stimulate progress in sport by bringing together bright minds and fresh innovations inside and outside the industry. The inaugural edition of the annual two-day event will take place from 15 to 16 May 2018 at the SwissTech Convention Center in Lausanne and will focus on the themes of connected sport, new sports including E-sports, performance & health, and media & marketing. Presented in an untraditional format, The SPOT will provide for an engaging conference and workshop programme, a Marketplace and Demo Zone featuring innovative products and solutions, numerous networking opportunities and an international start-up contest to promote and award new business ideas.