Can 3D Technology Spawn Better Athletes?

By Alyssa

Sports performance

Over the last few decades, technological advancements in sport have been moving the benchmark of human limitations. Some ways are easy to understand: fiberglass poles became more flexible allowing vaulters to reach new heights; replacing wooden tennis rackets with ones made of fiberglass and graphite improved accuracy; swimming bodysuits were developed to reduce drag.

But while these advances may have been game changing at the time, a new era of technology has arrived that seeks to lift the lid off the secrets to our biomechanics and help push both professional and amateur athletes to greater heights.

In every sport, and at every level, companies are now supplying equipment, clothing and gadgets in a bid to revolutionize the way professionals and amateurs train, compete and recuperate.

Personalized Footwear

Sports performance

As an example, in recent years, a growing consumer appetite for customization has seen sports brands embrace technology in order to create the perfect footwear for individuals. While it is already possible to go online or into a shop to choose the color and design of shoes, 3D modeling and printing technology is now being used to mold and shape footwear for customers to create the definitive personalized design.

Next Up: 3D Modeling for the Masses

3D modeling sole

Although professional athletes have greater support and access to use and trial these kinds of technologies, Susan Olivier, vice president of consumer goods and retail at Dassault Systèmes, believes 3D modeling techniques will soon be readily available to the public.

“The cost and size of 3D scanning is going down dramatically. I can imagine in three to five years that before shopping we will visit a booth that scans our feet and other body parts. Then we can take the scan to our favorite sports outlet who will be able to design equipment, clothing and footwear to our specifications,” says Olivier.

Want to learn more? We invite you to watch the video below that shares some specific stories of  how technology is helping both professional and everyday athletes race towards perfection.

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You can also read more in an article that includes examples such as how Olympians like Usain Bolt are benefitting from 3D technology mapping human motion to help athletes gain split second advantage and at the same time protect themselves from injury.

NOTE: The video and article were first published as an Advertisement Feature on bbc.com running from 27th June 2014 to 5th September 2014, and was created by the BBC Advertising CommercialProduction team in partnership with Dassault Systèmes.

How can technology shape the future?

By Alyssa

How can technology shape the future? That is the question at the heart of a new3-part series developed by Dassault Systèmes. While the stories are distinct, they contain an underlying theme of how innovative 3DEXPERIENCEs can impact humankind. In the next few weeks we will introduce you to each story in depth.

The Living Heart Project

You will learn about how 3D modeling is giving researchers a revolutionary and comprehensive look into the human heart. Can this help reduce the impact of cardiovascular disease as a leading cause of death in humans? Will our medical treatment be able to become more personalized to our unique situation?

Living Heart

Performance Sports Apparel

Another segment focuses on advances in performance sports apparel. Will we soon expect that every piece of our athletic gear will be easily customized to improve performance and comfort? Will this create a world where blisters from running will be a thing of the past?

Sports apparel

Sustainable Cities

In the final segment, you’ll get a glimpse into the direction that urban planners are quickly moving to in order to quickly and sustainably develop cities to meet the needs of rising populations while keeping in mind the impact on the population and the environment.

Sustainable cities

Over the next few months, we will reveal each of these stories to you through videos, infographics and news articles.

For now, we invite you to let your imagination take flight by giving 60 seconds to view our new commercial that gives a glimpse into Dassault Systèmes vision for the future and how 3DEXPERIENCES can shape our lives. Watching TV? Look for the spot through July 31st on BBC World News!

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Horse Riding 3DEXPERIENCE: Technological Backstage

By Aurelien

From March 14 to 16, 2014, Dassault Systèmes participated in the international showjumping event ‘Saut Hermès‘ held in Paris and broadcast worldwide on Eurosport TV channels. There, we provided a first of a kind 3DEXPERIENCE for TV viewers to get more insights about the art of showjumping. Watch this video to see it in action:

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I wanted to learn more about the backstage of this project so I went for a chat with Muriel Descamps, Experiential Lab Specialist at Dassault Systèmes.

Q: The movement of the horse and jumper look pretty natural, how did you capture those movements? With motion capture?

Muriel: No, we used videos of a professional jumper (Pénélope Leprevost) and her horse in order to come up with the 3D models. From there, we ended up with more than 100 animation sequences for the horse and the jumper (trot, gallop, various jumps, etc). When we showed the final result to Ms. Leprevost, she not only recognized her avatar, but also the horse she was riding! It was a great recognition of our work.

Q: What happened next once you had the 3D models of the horse and jumper?

Muriel: So we had the realistic models, but they still needed to be fine tuned with an equestrian expert. We worked with showjuping champion Michel Robert for that matter. In particular, he helped us refine stride animations, by tuning stride distance and speed parameters in our app. His help was immensely valuable to come up with animation sequences as close to the reality as possible.

Watch Michel Robert interact with the project team:

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Q: So I guess you were all set to run the show by then?

Muriel: No, we still had to integrate the actual course! One challenge here was that we could get the course design only 48 hours ahead of the event, because of confidentiality reasons. So 48 hours before the show, the course designer hands us out a… *printed* copy of the course design. That was the other challenge! Nevertheless, we managed to integrate the course design in time. The course designer was not only able to experience his course design in 3D, but he was also eager to make last-minute changes in the course design! Changes that he would otherwise figure out only later when on the ground…

Q: That sounds cool! Tell me what’s next?

Muriel: Something that we’d like to integrate is actual data coming from sensors and cameras, and revert this data back into the virtual world. This could be very useful for the jumpers, the trainers, course designers and TV viewers to better understand, compare and explain the jumpers performances. Here, we chose to focus an equestrian sport, but we could imagine repurposing the same app for other sports such as golf, ski, tennis, Formula 1… we just have to dream it!  :-)



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Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), Dassault Systèmes, the 3D Experience Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. 3DSWYM, 3D VIA, CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, NETVIBES, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.