Wednesday, February 15, 2006

British Brushing:
What Has the New Technology Taught Them/Us?

Have you noticed any changes in brushing strategies at the 2006 Olympics (vis a vis previous tournaments)?

Back in November, I posted this piece about how the British curlers have used special brushes outfitted with sensors to help them improve their brushing techniques. I quoted:
Britain's Olympic curlers are using state-of-the art brooms to give themselves an edge as they prepare to defend their Winter Games gold. Loaded with sensors and a memory card, the 'sweep ergometer' allows curlers to measure how well they are performing one of the game's crucial tasks.
It looks to me as if the British sweepers might, if anything, be trying to take even quicker strokes than usual, if that is possible, but I really cannot see that there has been much of a change.

As I posted then, I'm sure I am not the only person watching the sweeping of the British curlers to see what they might have learned from their high-tech brooms. If, indeed, the British curlers have noticeably changed their brushing styles with some effect, others will surely be copying and adapting that information before the Olympics are over.

Update: Alex Tabarrok cites some details from Wired. As we noted earlier, yes, it is worth knowing whether and how brushing helps, but how does one team keep this information from being discovered easily by others?


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