Features

Published: Saturday December 21, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday December 21, 2013 MYT 8:25:04 AM

Wristband that tracks microvibrations

Technology can help improve your rock climbing technique.

Technology can help improve your rock climbing technique.

Rock climbers can now get their personal statistics on how well they have performed.        

FOR rock-climbing aficionados who want to track and analyse their moves, a new sensor-packed wristband can help you do that.

Developed by researchers at the University of Newcastle in the UK, ClimbAX contains three-dimensional motion, orientation and altitude sensors for collecting climbing data on climbers of all levels, on all types of terrain.

After a climbing session, climbers can download their data via a USB port to geek out over their moves and assess their skill levels. Similar to professional coaching, the device assesses your skill set by two factors: your overall control in making smooth transitions between holds and your stability, such as maintaining composure during a hold.

To track this data, the software can measure “microvibrations” while you negotiate your movements along the rockface.

“This is where poorer climbers can tend to struggle,” head designer Cassim Ladha told delegates at Ubicomp, a wearable computing conference in Zurich, according to New Scientist magazine. “Improving control or stability could drastically improve a climber’s chances of survival.”

In tests on six volunteer climbers who each wore the device on a roped climb, New Scientist reports that the system accurately scored the climbers’ skills at levels close to what they achieved in competition climbing.

What are other sports joining the “quantified self” movement?

While runners and cyclists have their pick of gadgets to track their skills, surfers, skiers and skateboarders can also get into the game with Trace, a lightweight sensor that attaches to just about any type of board to track your movements.

Swimmers aren’t left out either: they can track their data via Instabeat, an HUD unit that you can attach to a pair of swimming goggles to monitor your heart rate, calories burned, laps, and turns during your swimming workout.

For more info go to: www.climbax.co.uk

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, Travel, rock climbers, climbing, wristband, data, skill levels

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