Daily Archives: June 3, 2019

Tour de France: AR for the Win #1: Fatigue Hawks

A slightly futuristic, highly realistic series of posts…


Arbicle- a piece of bicycling equipment utilizing AR, augmented reality.
I created the word above. In this post, a number of possible ideas and technologies are mentioned. Some may already be in use. However, now, there are no pieces of equipment designed specifically for the uses I mention. So, I have created the word “arbicle”, a combination of AR and bicycle. A small word and easy to "handle", it resembles the word ‘article’: arbicle.

What I am imagining are devices (arbicles) built specifically for the purpose of displaying or generating digital information related to bicycling. (This series of posts focuses upon racing.)

Note: I am not a medical specialist of any sort, and the following are not to be taken as anything more than theoretical exercises.

AR for the win #1: Fatigue Hawks

In this theoretical situation, we assume the following:

  • There are extensive performance, muscle fiber and blood analysis records for all racers. Data related to performance on similar roads and inclines is especially valuable.
  • Blood, saliva, and possibly urine tests can be quickly and periodically be conducted on racers for such things as: myoglobin levels, lactate clearance rate and other biochemical markers related to fatigue.
  • The above information can be combined with live feeds of: the peloton, wind and weather information, road gradient information.
  • Two way communication exists between the fatigue hawk and team members.

The fatigue hawk analyzes all of the data that is presented. Customized algorithms are used.

Communicating with voice, symbols and messages, the fatigue hawk offers suggestions on how to maximize strengths and minimize weaknesses of the team itself. Equally important, the fatigue hawk identifies opportunities, and weaknesses of opposing teams.

Data may reveal the leading team's difficulty with hills for example. By monitoring his/her own team's performance, the wind conditions and the gradient of an upcoming hill, the fatigue hawk can strategize and communicate so that advancement upon the leader can be made.

There are many uncontrollable factors in the Tour de France, but a strong collection of live data is information; and information is power. In the case of the Tour de France, the power is that of an athlete who cannot afford to waste a single kilojoule.

Studying the 1989 Tour de France, much can be learned about efficiency and power; the difference between first place and second was eight seconds.

The rider's arbicles would include a GPS tracking device and a visor capable of displaying the fatigue hawk's symbols and messages. Rearview and frontview cameras are also possibilities.

The fatigue hawk would need an arbicle capable of processing all incoming live data, storing records and communicating audio/visual data to the team members, individually and as a whole.

................................

I am a writer, researcher, AR producer and artist. No one is sponsoring this; I am now preparing a book on AR and Bicycle Safety. My other books are here.

.........

For further information:

https://www.dimensiondata.com/believe-in-greatness/tour-de-france

What is Fatigue? New Yorker article by Alex Hutchison

The Science of Running: How to Find Your Limit and Train to Maximize Your Performance by Steve Magness