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Under the Hood of Nike Sport Research Lab

If you haven’t heard, yesterday was a busy day in Portland. Nike rolled out 4 new products, ushering in a new era of innovation for the brand.

Today, Nike looks to further prove that the brand is take significant strides to develop the next best thing in performance innovation. At the Nike Sport Research Lab, athletes, scientists, engineers and designers converge to develop these products with the help of a few key tools.

The use of environmental chambers, biomechanics, and a motion capture lab have transformed the way products are tested. The most commonly used tool is the environmental chamber, standard (and probably mandatory) for any company that creates a product the chamber enables testers to experience the product in a wide range of environments. You wouldn’t want a winter running jacket that’s never experienced cold weather, would you? Far advanced than a walk-in freezer or sauna, some environmental chambers up the ante with salt sprays, rain, and UV rays. We aren’t sure if the Swoosh has all that, but they did disclose than they use an anatomical dummy named “Hal.” Interesting…

The other key components to a proper test include the study of the body’s biomechanics by way of a motion capture lab. Biomechanics are, simply put, studying the body’s measure of movement which Nike configures by generating a 3D rendering of an athlete in motion. This is done in the Motion Capture Lab, where high-speed cameras (30,000+ hertz) enable scientists to understand movement at a microscopic level. Talk about next level testing.

Stay tuned at Nike continues to roll out more innovative running apparel and footwear.

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