SPORTS ACCESSORY
PRODUCT DESIGN AND INNOVATION

THE BRIEF

To invent, create and design a football related product based upon force = mass x acceleration. Knowing the weight of a football, we realised that we could work out the acceleration and speed of football once kicked provided we could calculate the force with which it was struck.

PRODUCT: Speed Boot
CLIENT: Vivid Imaginations

THE CHALLENGE

Knowing that a voltage applied to piezoelectric disk generates a sound we speculated that it could work the other way around. We could then calibrate the output voltages based upon the force applied to the disk and by strapping one to a football boot, in the right position, could create a cost-effective way of measuring the speed of the ball.

THE BANG

Product innovation – that is in the application of the invention and making it work.  It was difficult to calibrate the voltages as the ball would not always strike the disc head on every time.  Furthermore, it was challenging to fix the disk and the associated electronics to the boot.

THE RESULT

A license with Vivid Imaginations, a leading toy and gift product developer, an endorsement by Michael Owen and sales of 50k units in the UK. We have also undertaken further product design and development incorporating a new material (QTC) which measures the force more accurately and added a transmitter that sends the result to a display unit on the players’ wrist. The idea has since mimicked by Adidas.