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Vibrating suit helps athletes perfect their game

Vibrating suit helps athletes perfect their game

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Researchers at Birmingham City University developed a vibrating suit to help athletes and other users improve their memory of physical technique.

Rhythmic gymnast Mimi Cesar (pictured above) has to perfect her routine before the 2012 summer Olympics--where every move counts. If she's off by an inch when she lands after a spin in the air or if she twists her body just a hair too far in one direction, it could mean losing first place.

To make sure every move, jump, flip and twirl is perfect, she is training with a vibrating suit.

The vibrating suit, called MotivePro, is designed to track its wearer's body in space and time. After the suit knows the specific positions and points in an athletic routine, it can provide feedback in the form of vibrations when a move isn't perfect.

The vibration, similar to that found on a mobile phone, can also be set to give feedback through visual or sound files.

The suit was developed by Professor Gregory Sporton, director of the Visualization Research Unit at Birmingham City University in the UK.

Professor Sporton had this to say in a press release:

"The system can also record the movements as well, to use after the event. This means that archives can be built up showing relative performance over time, any long term trajectories identified and the use of the data to make averages amongst particular user groups."

Researchers think this technology can be used in sports such as golf, to help a player tee off in perfect form. The vibrating suit also has applications in professions where heavy lifting is involved and can teach users how to properly lift and carry objects.

Check out this video of Mimi Cesar using the suit.

Vibrating Suit Gives Olympic Hopefuls Competitive Advantage  [Science Daily]

Photo via Birmingham City University

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Amy Kraft

Weekend Editor

Contributing Editor Amy Kraft is a freelance writer based in New York. She has written for New Scientist and DNAinfo and has produced podcasts for Scientific American's 60-Second-Science. She holds degrees from CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure