US 20070000007 A1
Dynamic visual indicators such as counter-predictive indicators are applied to apparel and apparatus for activities such as athletics. The counter-predictive indicators are configured to provide an indication of wearer/user orientation or anticipated future movement that differs from a true orientation or actual movement. Alternatively, the predictive indicators can be provided to reinforce or heighten perception of wearer/user orientation or anticipated future movement. In some examples, dynamic visual indicators provide apparent body axes that are tilted or displaced from a wearer's actual body axis. Such dynamic visual indicators can be selected based on measured responses to activity specific images or events.
1. An article, comprising at least one activity-specific dynamic visual indicator.
2. The article of
3. The article of
4. The article of
5. The article of
6. The article of
7. The article of
8. The article of
9. A method, comprising:
selecting at least one activity-specific dynamic visual indicator; and
applying the selected dynamic visual indicator.
10. The method of
11. The method of
12. The method of
13. The method of
14. The method of
15. The method of
16. The method of
17. An article of apparel, comprising:
an axis associated with a body axis with the article as worn;
a first region in which a first visual indicator is defined;
a second region in which a second visual indicator is defined, wherein the first region and the second region are situated along and on opposite sides of the axis.
18. The article of apparel of
19. The article of apparel of
20. The article of apparel of
21. The article of apparel of
22. An article of apparel, comprising:
a visual indicator situated at a body axis in an as worn position, the visual indicator comprising a first edge that is substantially tilted with respect to the body axis as worn.
23. The article of apparel of
24. The article of apparel of
25. The article of
The disclosure pertains to methods for configuring athletic apparel to enhance or reduce accuracy of visual estimations of anticipated player movements.
Apparel for a variety of activities has been customized to provide for wearer safety and comfort, or for aesthetic reasons. For example, athletic team uniforms are often provided in bright colors or constructed of materials that wick perspiration or control heat loss. Athletic attire is frequently decorated to be visually appealing, or to include markings associated with team sponsorship. Apparel for these and other activities can be configured for functionality as well as to aid in the identification of the wearer as a member of team or other group.
While apparel has been configured to enhance individual comfort and performance for many activities, typical ornamented uniforms and apparel merely promote wearer comfort or provide stylish appearance. Such apparel does not reflect important aspects of wearer dynamics, and improved apparel is needed that can provide additional functionality.
According to representative methods, at least one dynamic visual indicator is selected and applied to an object, such as, for example, a team uniform or other apparel for one or more selected activities. In some examples, the at least one dynamic visual indicator is a predictive indicator. In other examples, the at least one dynamic visual indicator is a counter-predictive indicator. In additional examples, the at least one dynamic visual indicator is associated with an apparent orientation of an object axis. In other illustrative examples, the at least one dynamic visual indicator is applied so as to provide an apparent object axis that is tilted with respect to a corresponding actual object axis.
Articles comprise at least one dynamic visual indicator. In representative examples, the dynamic visual indicator is a counter-predictive indicator or a predictive indicator. In further examples, the dynamic visual indicator is situated to establish an apparent axis that is tilted with respect to a corresponding actual axis. In additional representative examples, a second dynamic visual indicator is provided, wherein the first dynamic visual indicator is a counter-predictive indicator and the second dynamic visual indicator is a predictive indicator. In other examples, the article is a team uniform. In still further examples, a dynamic visual indicator is configured to obscure a hip angle.
Methods comprise selecting an activity and defining at least one dynamic visual indicator associated with performance of the selected activity. In representative examples, the dynamic visual indicator is applied to an article associated with the selected activity. In other examples, the dynamic visual indicator is a counter-predictive indicator or predictive indicator associated with at least one motion encountered with the selected activity. In still further examples, the dynamic visual indicator is defined as a predictive indicator associated with at least one motion encountered with the selected activity. In additional representative examples, the dynamic visual indicator is defined to provide an apparent orientation of the article. In some examples, the apparent orientation is substantially misaligned with an actual orientation and in additional examples, the apparent orientation is substantially aligned with an actual orientation.
These and other features are described in detail below with reference to the accompanying drawings.
The disclosed methods and apparatus should not be construed as limiting in any way. Instead, the present disclosure is directed toward novel and non-obvious features and aspects of the various disclosed embodiments, alone and in various combinations and subcombinations with one another. Moreover, the methods and apparatus are not limited to any specific aspect or feature, or combinations thereof, nor do the disclosed methods and apparatus require that any one or more specific advantages be present or problems be solved.
Although the operations and function of some of the disclosed methods and apparatus are described in a particular, sequential order for convenient presentation, it should be understood that this manner of description encompasses rearrangement, unless a particular ordering is required by specific language set forth below. For example, operations described sequentially may in some cases be rearranged or performed concurrently. Moreover, for the sake of simplicity, the attached figures may not show the various ways in which the disclosed methods and apparatus can be used in conjunction with other methods and apparatus. Additionally, the description sometimes uses terms like “determine” and “evaluate” to describe the disclosed methods. These terms are high-level abstractions of the actual operations that are performed. The actual operations that correspond to these terms will vary depending on the particular implementation and are readily discernible by one of ordinary skill in the art.
For purposes of this disclosure, the word “including” has the same broad meaning as the word “comprising”. In addition, words such as “a” and “an”, unless otherwise indicated to the contrary, include the plural as well as the singular. Thus, for example, the requirement of “a feature” is satisfied where one or more of these features are present. In addition, the term “or” includes the conjunctive, the disjunctive and both (a or b thus includes either a or b, as well as a and b).
The disclosure provides representative examples of apparel configured for team sports such as football, soccer, basketball, hockey, paintball, or other sports. In other examples, apparel for individual sports such as tennis, fencing, martial arts, or other activities can be provided. These examples are illustrative only, and apparel, equipment, and other items for other sports and non-sports activities can be configured in a similar manner.
While activity apparel, accessories, and apparatus can be configured to enhance or reduce wearer visibility, such items can also be configured to enhance or attenuate the anticipation or “prediction” of future wearer movements or to enhance or attenuate visual determinations of precise body orientation and location. For example, many sporting, athletic, and other recreational and professional activities are based on precisely locating an opponent or teammate, and anticipating the movements of the opponent or teammate. For example, knowing the precise position and body orientation of a soccer opponent or teammate on a soccer pitch can aid in accurate prediction of the opponent's or teammate's future movements such as a kicking direction, or direction of a cut. A goalkeeper must estimate a probable direction or location for opponent activities—i.e., will the opponent target a particular portion of the goal, or dribble to a particular location. A basketball defender must similarly assess an opponent's likely next move—to shoot, pass, continue dribbling ahead, cross-over, reverse, or take some other action. Improved estimates of position, orientation, and likely movement and can substantially improve a participant's effectiveness in countering an opponent or assisting a teammate. In these and other activities, a participant can take advantage of her perception of opponents and/or teammates to anticipate likely future moves. Similarly, a participant's apparel can be configured to hinder accurate prediction of participant movements or actions. Thus, dynamic visual indicators can be provided to heighten or attenuate perception of wearer orientation or to heighten or diminish accuracy of predictions of subsequent wearer movements.
Enhanced or attenuated visual estimations can be conveniently based on activity indicators that are defined on items of apparel or other items by configuring one or more portions of the items to have visually distinct colors, patterns, contrast, hues, color saturation, color values, shapes, or sizes. These patterns can be selected and applied to player uniforms to aid in defining or confusing an orientation of a teammate or opponent, or a likely next motion or direction of motion. These indicators can be applied to other articles as well. Visual indicators applied to enhance or confuse determinations of object orientation or likely next movement are referred to herein as “dynamic visual indicators.” Some such indicators can be applied to enhance or confuse perceptions of, for example, a player's orientation, or anticipated movements. Dynamic visual indicators configured to reduce or attenuate visual perceptions that facilitate estimations of likely future player movements are referred to herein as counter-predictive indicators. Dynamic visual indicators configured to heighten visual perceptions that facilitate estimations of likely future player movements are referred to herein as predictive indicators. Indicators configured to confuse an orientation of a player or an object differ from conventional camouflage which attempts to conceal the presence of a person or thing. In some examples, dynamic visual indicators are configured to be easily noticed, but to produce a visual perception that an object is somewhat displaced or tilted with respect to its actual position or orientation.
While in some examples, dynamic visual indicators are situated based on body axes such as head-foot/feet, head-hip, hip-hip, knee to knee, shoulder to shoulder, ankle-to-ankle, foot to shoulder, knee to shoulder, gaze direction, in other examples, other vertical, horizontal, or diagonal axes can be used based on elbows, ankles, feet, head tilt, body tilt or lean, or other orientation/position indicators. In addition, placement of visual indicators can be based on body twist, rotations, or apparent locations of body parts. In some examples, visual indicators can be applied to athletic or other activity specific clothing or protective gear to enhance or reduce visibility of selected activity alignments such as, for example, body position.
Application of activity specific dynamic visual indicators to uniforms or other activity-specific apparel is only a representative example. Such activity specific indicators can be applied or attached not only to uniform garments such as shorts, skirts, pants, socks, hats, shirts, jerseys, sweatbands, and shoes, but to other activity-associated items such as helmets, headgear, helmet chin straps, pads, gloves, facemasks, protective gear, baseball or softball bats, racquets, mitts, hockey sticks, or other items. Such items can be provided with indicators that heighten or attenuate activity specific perceptions, or both heighten perception of one or more selected actions or motions and attenuate perceptions of one or more other actions or motions. Indicators can be applied to other items such as cars, trucks, planes, bicycles, boats, skateboards, balls, hockey pucks, or other items in which changes in motion or likely movements are to be observed and/or anticipated, or in which perception and anticipation of changes in motion or likely movements are to be diminished.
With reference to
Another example sports uniform 160 is shown in
Representative configurations that disguise a player hip angle and present an apparent hip angle are illustrated in
With reference to
A sports uniform 350 with an indicator similar to that of
While indicators can be selected without confirmation of their effectiveness, suitability of any particular indicator can be evaluated in various ways. For example, in selection and verification for sporting applications, occlusion testing can be used in which portions of a player's body are blocked from the view of one or more test subjects. Representative occlusion configurations applied to a soccer player are shown in
Test conditions can also be presented in context of particular game situations. For example, soccer player location, orientation, and expected movement can be differently evaluated depending on whether the test subject has placed an occluded or unoccluded player image (or motion sequence) at or near his own goal, near an opponent's goal, or at midfield. In addition, test subjects can be instructed that the occluded image is associated with either a teammate or an opponent.
In some examples, one or more test subjects can be positioned on touch pads, and test subject movements and reactions to player motion observed. Observed and/or recorded eye movements can be used. Typically, test subjects have some or extensive playing experience in a particular sport of interest. During testing, test subject anticipation can be evaluated along with other test subject perceptions such as test subject depth perception, field of view, visual acuity, color vision, and reaction time. In some examples, test subjects stand on suitable test pads, and respond directly as if participating in the activity for which the indicator is intended. Test subjects without playing experience can also be used. Responses of such test subjects can be used to assess visual cues and other visual indications that are learned by experienced participants, and can serve for player training and to evaluate player development. Responses can also be measured in association with particular player experiences. For example, a motion sequence associated with a shot on goal in a soccer match can produce different responses in experienced goalkeeper and an experienced forward.
While presentation of a single occluded player image is particularly simple, in other examples, test subjects can be placed in three versus three (3v3) or other multi-player situations that can be encountered in a game. In 3v3 testing, a whole player can be occluded, or portions of one or more players can be occluded.
A representative configuration for test subject evaluation of a selected indicator is shown in
Although specific patterns, colors, and the like are shown in the above examples, indicators can be configured in various ways. For example, a pattern that includes a plurality of parallel stripes can be distorted to have an appearance similar to that produced by an athlete wearing such a pattern, or regular or irregular series of dots of the same or different sizes or other types of patterns can be used. Indicators can be selected to provide a selected visual impact value. For example, a relatively large pattern region having relatively low contrast can have a visual impact value that is similar to that obtained with a smaller pattern region having higher contrast. Visual impact values can be based on size, color, contrast, or other visual parameters. In addition, indicators can be associated with visual centers based on an apparent center of the indicators as viewed in, for example, activity-specific lighting conditions, or in general daylight illumination, or other illumination.
While several representative examples are described with reference to team sports, the disclosed methods and indicator can be applied to other recreational, commercial, occupational, and other activities. Predictive and counter-predictive indicators can be applied to apparel or other items. In some examples, a single object is provided with one or more predictive indicators and/or counter-predictive indicators. These examples are not to be taken as limiting, and we claim all that is encompassed by the appended claims.