You can’t help but feel cool in Nike’s new face mask

29 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Nike Designs New Cooling Helmet For Athletes.

Decathlon Olympic champion and world record holder Ashton Eaton has found a new way to keep cool between events in competition thanks to a new cooling hood designed by Nike.The company called it a “cooling hood prototype” in a press release, which added that additional prototypes were made for his wife, Brianne Theisen-Eaton, a World Championships silver medalist heptathlete for Canada who will test her design in summer training. “A perfect scenario would be to feel like you’ve just started on every event,” Eaton said in a press release. “The more you do, the more attrition you experience., already well known for their sports gear, is now going from our feet to our heads: they’ve released images of a “cooling helmet” prototype to keep athletes from overheating. Rather than realizing immediate physiological gain, the challenge is more about reducing the mental attrition from the two days to maximize each event.

After asking questions about current recovery techniques, the conversation prompted me to ask myself: Why does it feel good, after running, to pour a bottle of water over your head? The company is working with Olympic gold medalist Ashton Eaton to develop the hood, which fits snugly over the head to envelope the forehead, temples and neck. Retaining cool water that offers a gradual and effective cooling of the head, the hood would be useful for those who need to recover quickly between events or maximize each break in sport. I don’t know the physiological answer, but the fact that it does feel better makes me perform better.” Nike looked back to previous creations, including a cooling vest, to begin looking into a way to cool an athlete’s face as they run.

The idea is that during games like football or basketball, instead of pouring water on themselves or wrapping a wet towel around their heads, this Ice Hat will be able to do the same thing for them in what we can only assume is in a more efficient and less messy way. The resulting prototype in Nike’s press release looks a bit like something that might belong on a medieval jouster, but is constructed to keep the face of the wearer cool in a way that will help athletes recover more quickly and last longer in extended competitions of the sort in which Eaton participates.

As he was already using Nike’s PreCool Vest, he reached out to the Nike Sports Research Lab and they worked together to create the cooling hood prototype. At present, Nike’s prototype is focusing on ways to retain water without leaking, while focusing cooling under the eyes and in specific areas around the head.

At the same time, a structural frame around the eyes keeps cold portions in place and close to the face while maintaining a secure fit.” This is actually not the first time that Nike has explored cooling technology. The trick now for Nike is finding the balance between keeping it cool enough to make a difference, but not so cold as to cause chills or distracting headaches. There’s still a ways to go (Nike is planning to roll out tests and further versions of the helmet leading up to the 2016 Summer Olympics) but it’s looking good. Biologist Craig Heller explained to Wired that Nike’s helmet targets some of the body’s “natural radiators” — specifically, the networks of arteries and veins in the forehead and cheeks — that help rid the body of heat.

Eaton’s trial of the hood aims to advance research around the physiological advantages of head cooling, and he will work with Nike on each iteration to perfect the idea. Eaton is testing a prototype, generating the data needed to determine the physiological and psychological benefits of the design, and testing will continue in the run-up to the World Championships and the 2016 Olympic Games.

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