Cool Stuff!

Good morning everyone,

I hope you spent the day-or at least part of it-outside yesterday. It was so gorgeous. If you're like me and had to work yesterday, don't worry too much, you still have today and the rest of this week to enjoy the awesome fall weather! Every day will see highs in the mid 20s and mostly sunny skies, so no complaining about the weather this week!

Every year since 1957, Japan’s Good Design Awards have honored products which are designed in such a way to have a positive impact on people’s lives. The award system, which is now operated by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion, has recently released their list of 2015’s Good Design Best 100 award winners. They're not all sports items, but today I chose a few of the cooler-looking items related to sports.

At the moment, Japanese net users can’t stop buzzing about an LED-embedded jump rope–the “Smart Rope,” which is manufactured by Tangram Factory, Inc., with offices in Seoul and New Jersey, U.S.

The humble jump rope is a perennial favorite of both children and pro-athletes around the world, but Tangram’s Smart Rope is much more than a simple bit of woven cord. This fitness tool comes complete with 23 LEDs embedded inside the rope section which digitally display your number of jumps and calories burned in mid-air as you exercise. It might be hard to imagine, watch the video and you'll see what I mean!

▼ You have to see it in action!

Furthermore, an app being developed by the same company allows you to track and customize your workout data, as well as to share it over social media. The Smart Rope’s YouTube video description summaries its ingenuity with the line “Such products that can change people’s habits with just a minor idea are enormously significant.”

Speaking of LEDs, did you hear about the Nike Rise ‘House of Mamba’ LED basketball court that was built in China and comes complete with custom motion tracking capabilities? That also won a 2015 Good Design Best 100 Award!

The next two products aren’t related to the Good Design Awards, but their pioneering use of technology is similar to the other two. First, there’s Adidas’ miCoach SMART BALL, which tracks the velocity, number of rotations, and even the projected course of the ball when you kick it:

Is soccer (or football) not really your thing? Then how about yoga? The yoga SmartMat is being developed for yoga junkies who want individualized instruction with a virtual instructor in the privacy of their homes. Most impressively, the mat’s built-in pressure sensors provide specialized advice on your posture and position on the mat in real-time. It also comes with three modes—one for use at home, one for class, and one for Zen time (during which it essentially functions like a regular, non-talking yoga mat).

▼ A yoga lover’s dream mat

If these inspirational products have left you thirsting for even more creative ideas, be sure to check out the complete list of the Good Design Best 100 winning designs! www.g-mark.org/ As usual, I hope the link works, but if not, well, you'll have to type it in...sorry.

Have a great day!

PS Don't waste today checking out those cool items-save that for a rainy day! Get out and enjoy this nice weather-that's an order!

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