Nike, the largest sports company, has come up with special glasses for athletes. The aim of developing these glasses is to improve the time in which athletes react physically and improve their performance. They help to train your senses to react quickly.
The company worked with Duke University, following their recent research, and developed a system called SPARQ Sensory Performance that works in three ways –
1. Assessment of the Athlete’s Needs – A ‘Sensory Station’ is made use of to first assess the individual needs of the athletes. The sensory performance and visual skills are evaluated. Now, the data collected from this assessment is used to create stroboscopic training programs for the athletes.
2. Using Nike’s SPARQ Vapor Strobe Glasses – The training program recommends using Nike’s SPARQ Vapor Strobe Glasses. The eyewear blocks the vision of the wearer temporarily to improve awareness, timing and concentration. During the training period, the brain adjusts and begins to react faster when it learns what would happen when the vision is blocked. This kind of enhancement of sensory skills will give the athlete a much needed edge over other athletes in sports.
These glasses are now completely integrated into professional and college training programs customized for athletes and they have different strobe speeds.
3. Short-Term Memory Retention – The Duke University results have also found that the athletes using SPARQ system not only displayed improved physical reaction. They also showed improved short term memory, being able to retain facts for a longer time. When letters flashed across the screen, the users could remember them quickly.
Although you may not be able to use it as a tool for your final examinations, using these glasses to cram the books, it can help you in other matters. This technology does seem to have a future apart from sports.
The eyewear has displayed impressive results but you cannot use it when you are playing ball. It is specifically designed to be used in an environment of training where there are no unwanted and fast collisions.
The glasses are comfortable, with nose pads that can be adjusted according to the shape of the bridge. Also, there is an adjustable elastic strap instead of the plastic arms that glasses have. This elastic strap ensures that the Vapor Strobes are safe even when you are exercising vigorously.
Another design of the glasses is the one with LCD lenses that allows a side view of uninterrupted peripheral vision. The stroboscopic effect will give you a strange feeling initially but later, as your eyes adjust, you almost forget it.
There are 9 modes of stroboscopic effects allowing different levels of visibility. Initially, even the first two levels seem to be difficult but later on, after removing the glasses, there seems to be enhanced foresight.
When you use the glasses for the first time, you will, no doubt, question how an eyewear can offer you improved sensory perception or improve your memory, even for a short term. But, using it, for even half an hour, will convince you that the stroboscopic glasses are indeed beneficial.