With Sir David Brailsford looking towards technology for the next marginal gains, we visited the Wearable Technology Show at the ExCel Centre London to see what we could find. Bainisha, a highly innovative motion capture system caught our eye.
Bainisha is a start up wearable technology company that is looking to revolutionise motion capture. This will have many applications but the inventor, Patrick Van De Vyver, sees huge potential with cyclists.
>>> For a video of the system, click here.
So what is it?
Bainisha is a sticker that can be placed on the body to give wireless and real time feedback of movement and muscle performance. The sticker shown below is designed to be placed along the spine, although different stickers for different joints are possible. The spinal sticker could be used by bike fitters to optimise a rider’s position.
Why would it be useful?
The spinal sticker could be used by bike fitters to optimise a rider’s position. The advantage over a traditional bike fit system is that this allows real world motion to be analysed. Your power output in a given position on the bike can be totally different when you are fatigued at the back end of race, compared with when you are relatively fresh in a traditional bike fitting studio.
The real time data, is very useful as it potentially allows you to monitor your own position on the fly. By predetermining your optimum position for power and aerodynamics, your bike computer could have a data field that informs you if you are becoming less aerodynamic or efficient during a race/ride. To demonstrate this there are some informative videos here, which show how the system could tell you to maintain a low back.
Van De Vyver informed us that the Lotto Soudal team have been looking at the sensor, as they saw it as a useful tool for optimising their time trial positions and their team time trial too. Data from multiple spinal sensors could be analysed to see if certain riders have a tendency to sit too far off the wheel in front, or to ensure perfect alignment in a pace line, or echelon.
The sensors can be designed to fit different parts/joints of the body and are intended to be single use. For those wondering how much the system would cost, Van De Vyver surprised us by saying that if mass produced the stickers would be very cheap. Below is picture detailing some of the features of the system.
The makers claim that this sensor is ‘hyper accurate’ and considerably more precise than other sensors currently available on the market, with much better resolution.
Bainisha claim that “due to the unprecedented kHz range capturing speed, the system allows ultra precise monitoring” of complex body motions, weather that be serving a tennis ball, bowling a cricket ball or sprinting on a bicycle.
Bike stiffness could also be measured
It doesn’t end there though. These stickers would not just be useful for measuring motion in humans, they can also be applied to mechanical objects, be it a plane wing, car or bike frame. In fact Bainisha inform us that Belgian bike manufacturer Ridley are intending to use the stickers to measure the stiffness of their carbon frames. The great thing is that these stickers can be placed unobtrusively onto almost any part of a bike. We think this has enormous potential, as it could also revolutionise the way we review bikes, with the potential to quantitatively measure one bikes stiffness in different areas against another, inexpensively.
For more information, head over to Bainisha.