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Tech Tuesday

As we have made mention over the last few months Stylesight is VERY excited about the fast approaching WC2010 in South Africa. While we wait patiently for the games to kick off there has been no shortage of fascinating side stories, one of which certainly has to be the amount of technology going into making the event happen.
From viewing games in 3D to space age boots the science of sport is pretty impressive.

Today, we get down to the basics of the game, shining a spotlight on the only necessary equipment you really need… a ball and the shirt on your back.

Adidas has been issued the challenge of creating a ball for the World Cup each time around since 1970. Long gone are the days of leather balls and hand stitching, today’s balls boast an impressive amount of innovative updates. This year Adidas has created the JABULANI, which in Zulu translates to “celebrate.”

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The ball is created with 8 thermally bonded panels and a surface technology known as Grip N’ Groove, which increases foot to ball traction in all conditions. Additionally the ball makes use of a distinctly South African color palette as a homage to the events host.

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To see evolution of the JABULANI check out the partnership between Adidas and Loughborough University, which through years of research and development led to the creation of this new technology.

“He would give you the shirt off his back” is a commonly used phrase; well how about a shirt that gives something back. Nike recently unveiled the official kit for the US National soccer team and it is truly remarkable. The shirt is constructed from 100% recycled polyester of which, up to eight used water bottles have been included in the production. Nike also has continued to push its well-known Dri-Fit technology pointing to a product 13% lighter than previous models. The essential idea is players remain cool as moisture is wicked away, while airflow through the garment is increased through scientifically positioned ventilation zones.

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In terms of look Nike has gone back in history for inspiration choosing the USA’s famous 1-0 defeat of England during WC 1950 as visual cue. With a 1950’s inspired round neck, sash running across the chest and bold numbering, the shirt pulls of retro nicely. Finally for a touch of patriotism the well-known revolutionary war era coiled snake and DTOM (don’t tread on me) has been placed inside and just above the heart.

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Team USA will look to use all the inspiration and scientifically adjusted perspiration they can; as they take on England during their first match June 12th.

Lastly, in a game that is truly one of the only commonalities around world, global issues will always have a prominent place. That being said there maybe no greater issue than poverty when it comes to human development. Although an end to poverty may not be in sight, even in the most desperate of locations there is football! Many of the greats honed their skills in the streets and dirt fields kicking nothing more than a tin can.

Project Dream ball caught our eye awhile back and we have been waiting for the chance to share. Essentially asking how do you provide footballs in places where there are no shops and certainly no balls? The people at Unplug Design had a stroke of genius when noticing that aid boxes where distributed all over the developing world. The boxes had the potential to provide even more than just food and medical supplies.

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Unplug went about creating a box that when emptied could be reconstructed into a working soccer ball. The new boxes are actually in a cylinder shape from which the tube is pulled apart when emptied. After uncoiling the cardboard simple directions allow the pieces to be weaved back into a functioning ball shape.

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While certainly not an Adidas JABULANI the ball makes for much more comfort on often bare feet than say a tin can.

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Poverty, global health issues and a little ingenuity, this last video brings together just how powerful the game is. The World Cup starts in 23 days and the whole world is watching.

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