The Oracle BMW Racing team lost the Louis-Vuitton Cup to the Swiss Alinghi team, but they had a fun technology to test. Jim Doyle reports from Auckland, New Zealand.
Imagine a pair of high-tech sunglasses that not only filters out the ocean's glare and the sun's most harmful rays, but also makes the wearer feel like the Bionic Man.
For sailors of the Oracle BMW Racing team, the future is here. They have tested and utilized a micro-display system that enables them to receive live performance data from the race boat on their sunglasses, directly in their field of vision.
Oracle's cool new shades are related to a technological breakthrough in Formula One auto racing that was recently adapted for use by the San Francisco team in the America's Cup trials. It is similar to a racing helmet that BMW developed for its Formula One driver, Ralf Schumacher.
Here are few more details about the display.
Rob Passaro, BMW's chief engineer on the project, said the micro-display system was designed to optimize the speed and performance of Oracle's racing yacht. He called the system a "perfect example of cross-pollination of technology from Formula One to America's Cup yachting."
The micro-display system operates solely within the perimeter of the race boat. The regatta's rules forbid the yachts to carry any gear during a race capable of receiving or transmitting any communications or signals from outside the yacht.
Source: Jim Doyle, San Francisco Chronicle, January 20, 2003
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