Vie Smart Sports Glove

Mr. Du Tran Nguyen, from the Monash University in Australia, is one of the students competing at this year’s Australian Design Awards contest. His concept of an innovative sports glove, called Vie, is designed to take human performance to the limit. Targeted mostly at joggers, these gloves monitor their wearer’s health, functioning as a personal trainer while keeping track of the jogger’s vital signs and even sending an SOS signal to alert a nearby hospital in case of heart failure. The Vie gloves incorporate GPS technology and feature a unique, single hand control interface. Each finger corresponds to a certain icon and the wearer can activate each feature by a simple tap of the finger or by intuitive hand gestures such as a hand shake.

The Vie Sports Glove is designed to be made of waterproof, windproof and breathable fabric with injection molded EVA housing. The GPS technology is used to help joggers plan their desired route or record previous routes so they can be repeated.

These gloves are also designed to create an online community of Vie users, allowing runners to compare results, share advice and schedule joint workout sessions. All of the information collected by the glove’s sensors can be transferred via Bluetooth technology. When two runners shake hands while wearing the gloves, this may mean they are adding each other as friends or it may simply indicate that the two joggers have met and are now ready to train together according to their program. In case of emergency, one can send a stress beacon to all nearby Vie users or even straight to the police, making jogging alone much safer.

Strain gauges that receive the input of the commands made by tapping different fingers are embedded in the glove. “Each finger corresponds to an icon on the E-ink screen and the act of tapping is the selection. The result looks like you are typing or playing the piano, in mid air”, explains the designer. Two types of feedback let the user know that a selection has been made – visual feedback is received via OLEDs, and tactile feedback is received via miniature motors.

The designer adds that the Vie Sports Gloves are not restricted to only one type of sports but can be integratedinto many different sporting disciplines. “Baseball players can communicate plays with each other on a whole new level, football teams can send out team plays when they put their hands together in a huddle, record hand trajectory in golf, and to optimize swing and so on.”

TFOT recently covered an intelligent soccer ball that was recently tested at the 2007 FIFA Club World Cup in Japan. The soccer ball, named Teamgeist II, features new intelligent technology that uses a magnetic field to provide pinpoint accuracy of the ball’s location inside the field. TFOT also reported on the Xplorer GPS Smart shoe – a shoe that tracks the wearer’s location and provides a history of their movement.

More information about the Vie Sports Gloves can be found at the Australian Design Awards website.