Bridgestone In Detail: BMW Olympic Training Technology
In Detail: BMW Olympic Training Technology
2012-08-06
In Detail: BMW Olympic Training Technology

When BMW made the decision to sponsor the Olympics, they didn't just write a check and call it a day. BMW got involved. They agreed to sponsor individual athletes--including 11 from the U.S.--and asked if there was anything they could do to make these Olympians even better.

When BMW made the decision to sponsor the Olympics, they didn't just write a check and call it a day. BMW got involved. They agreed to sponsor individual athletes--including 11 from the U.S.--and asked if there was anything they could do to make these Olympians even better.

BMW's Palo Alto Technology Office took to the drawing board to come up tech that could help. "Their attitude was, 'Here's what we're good at, so tell us what you need and how we can help you,'" Bryan Clay, American decathlete told Fortune. What came out of the research was the BMW Velocity Measurement System.

Coaches are able to use a special stereoscopic camera to track the athlete in motion--similar to how BMW's 7-Series detects pedestrians with its night vision camera--and instantly measure how much velocity the athlete has at every point during the jump. The major benefit to the BMW's Velocity Measurement System is that the coach can make a suggestion regarding form and technique based upon realtime data, and the correction can be instantly quantified against the previous jump. This significantly speeds up the training process, allowing coaches and athletes to make the minute adjustments that can be the difference between medaling and returning home empty-handed.

It's simple physics for the most part. Knowing the horizontal and vertical components for velocity give insight into how to lengthen the jump. Much of the horizontal velocity is gained from the running s
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