The 2018 Winter Olympics have been going on for just over a week now and the action has, as always, been extraordinary. The athletic feats of these athletes are awe inspiring and seeing just how far they’re able to push themselves is simply incredible. Downhill skiers face a particularly dangerous combination of speed and obstacles, where falls can be especially dangerous. Several skiers at this year’s Olympic games are wearing an inflatable safety suit made by Italian company Dainese for some added protection.
While the company isn’t allowed to delve into specifics while the games are in progress, Dainese says that approximately 40 athletes are wearing their system this year, including roughly 30 men and 10 women. Keep an eye on the skiers from the Austrian, Italian, Canadian, and American teams and you might just see some of them wearing the Dainese suit on top of their normal attire. Seeker goes into great detail about the system and how it works:
It works like this: Multiple sensors, accelerometers, and gyroscopes stitched into the suit are carefully calibrated to detect when a racer is losing control and about to crash. This is the tricky part. Downhill skiers generate a range of powerful forces as they rocket down the mountain, and the system has only fractions of a second to distinguish among these various forces and detect when a crash is imminent.
According to Italian manufacturer Dianese, the D-air system uses an array of proprietary algorithms to solve this problem. In fact, the company refers to their line of airbag apparel as “intelligent clothing” because those algorithms — informed by years of real-world testing data — are the most critical part of the system. The company has patented more than a dozen separate technologies related to just this part of the D-air system.
The key, of course, is eliminating false positives. The last thing an Olympic athlete would want would be their protective clothing inflating at an inopportune time. That there are around 40 athletes wearing them at these games would seem to indicate that all of the kinks have been worked out. Once a crash is detected, the airbags deploy almost instantly. They work similarly to vehicle airbags, though they protect vital areas of the human body including the back, neck, collarbones, and back of the skull.
The system in use by Olympic skiers is based on Dainese motorcycle protection, which can be seen demonstrated in the video below:
What do you think about the Dainese D-Air airbag system? Would you wear something like this for your various activities? Tell us all about it in the comment section below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.[button link=”https://www.seeker.com/materials/inflatable-safety-suits-protect-downhill-skiers-at-the-2018-winter-olympics” icon=”fa-external-link” side=”left” target=”blank” color=”285b5e” textcolor=”ffffff”]Source: Seeker[/button]
Last Updated on February 17, 2018.