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At the much anticipated Tokyo release party for the driving simulator Gran Turismo 4, Polyphony president Kazunori Yamauchi stunned the attendees with the surprise announcement that GT4 and Nike had collaborated on the Nike ONE, signaling a new era in product development. Nike co-president Mark Parker joined Kazunori on stage for the ceremony, along with designers Phil Frank and Takuya Asano.
The Nike ONE was designed by a small team led by Phil Frank, for the GT4/Nike collaboration. Frank is also responsible for the design of the legendary Saleen S7.
"The dramatic and futuristic design of the Nike ONE with its athlete focus, stretched surfaces and less-is-more philosophy is directly inspired from the principles of Nike founder Bill Bowerman," explains Phil Frank, Principal Phil Frank Design, LLC.
"We went to great lengths to understand what a Nike car should be," explains Frank. "There were many discussions and concepts that evolved to ultimate solution, a very Nike solution for what a future performance vehicle should be."
"As Nike is an athletic company, we understood there had to be more to the concept than just another fast car" says Frank. "The athlete is the critical part of this vehicle, so we designed from that perspective, taking our inspiration and learning from the human body, its motion and dynamics."
"You don't just drive this vehicle, you are a part of it," explains Frank. "There is much more required to master this vehicle than being a great driver, it is just as important to be at peak physical performance".
"An athlete training to drive the Nike ONE uses a physical resistance simulator, that mimics the vehicle's controls, along with the digital simulation within GT4 to train their muscles and mind for specific tracks and competition scenarios," explains Frank, "it's the ultimate in convergent technologies".
"The driver's position is akin to a stretched out motorcycle rider's, but with the added efficiency of clip-in pedals," says Frank, "to accelerate/decelerate the athlete uses the large muscles of the leg and arms, thus the physical training that is needed to master the Nike ONE".
"The unique drive train, chassis, suspension and wheel layout leverage the future of nano-technologies," explains Frank. "When you are working in a blue sky environment it is always important to have one foot in reality and the other one as far forward as possible".
Below is background on the conceptual evolution of the Nike ONE.
EMC2?Eletro-Magneto-cumunetics, Version 2: Nike Global Patent GP-2022 3546453 D1BD97005 PP112565 Defined.
The super efficient transfer and storage of kinetic energy to usable electromagnetic energy. Service Release 2.
In 2012, The Nike Sports Research Lab developed the first so-called Spark Suit. Essentially a wearable generator, it used nano-ion pumps to convert any movement, running, walking, even breathing, into usable electricity. A new generation of Microbatts and Microcaps made it possible to capture and store this electricity for later use. This technology has affected geo-politics worldwide and seen various applications in the sport world, especially as evidenced in a new vehicle called the Nike ONE.
The Spark Suit was essentially an accident. Originally developed as a training counterpart to Nike's Swift Suit, it was designed to strategically impede movement. Internally called the Slow Suit, the idea was that strategic impedance would build muscle mass and improve coordination. Like the weights used by baseball players in an on-deck circle. This clothing would subtly and strategically strengthen and hone an athlete?s muscles.
The year was 2002 and Nanotechnology was in its infancy. Perhaps the greatest design challenge that Nike faced was in bleeding off the charge that inevitably built up around the nano-ion pumps. These microscopic bio-machines convert kinetic energy (movement) into tiny charges that cross potassium-sodium pathways by the mech-version of saltatory action, basically a muscle cell in reverse. Muscle cells generate tremendous heat. Since our bodies have an incredibly sophisticated system for dissipating heat, the early versions of the Spark Suit tried to utilize the body's natural mechanism for thermoregulation. They were brutally hot. As the effectiveness of the nano-pumps increased, the thermoregulation solutions had to keep pace. Nike designers experimented with a method that turned the electricity into light?hence the name Spark Suit. These versions were incredibly bright, as energy was bled off via fiber-optic pulses. 10 years in development, the Spark suit looked to be doomed to obscurity.
Microbatts & Microcaps.
Fortunately, Nike's research was synchronous with the development of ultra-efficient, superconducting batteries and capacitors, so-called Microbatts and Microcaps. When Nike designers made the connection that there was no need to dissipate the energy, that they could effectively store and transfer it?a revolution in product design was perhaps the smallest result.
Within a few years, global energy policy was turned on its head. N.O.P.E.C, the New Organization of Power Exporting Countries quickly replaced O.P.E.C as petroleum reserves dwindled and extraction became too costly to justify. Any nation with an active populace could become a world power. The so-called "sportocracies" gained prominence as countries slow to catch the EMC2 wave saw fossil-fuel powered industries fail against the comparatively cheap bio-lectricity. Even a small country with 300 million people could capture 20 terawatts per day, more than enough to power heavy industrial concerns like automotive manufacturing. As individuals became their own power source, obesity rates world-wide dropped drastically. Hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and type 2 adult-onset diabetes were effectively eliminated.
Nike, while releasing intellectual property rights for the good of the planet, has stayed in the business of product design.
The Nike ONE.
Their new EMC2 vehicle, the Nike ONE, uses the next generation of the E-Suit combined with heel mounted Microcaps and internal Microbatts to power its HEP drive (Human Energy Potential) with speeds up to 230 MPH. Because the vehicle is powered solely by an individual's personal energy reserves, transferred to the Microbatts from prior training sessions, combined with their ability to create energy on-the-fly, a new breed of athlete has arisen. Intense mental focus, combined with the need for tremendous physical stamina and a unique blend of fast/slow twitch muscle fibers, make those who master the Nike ONE amongst the most respected athletes on the planet.
Training to compete in the Nike ONE at an elite level is legendarily intense. Foundational methods follow the basic tenets now familiar to users of Nike's EMC2 products. Specifically, focused neuromuscular control training to recruit adjacent/local muscle groups (plyometrics) combined with strategic high-load strength training. Intensive cardio work is recommended to improve the efficiency of aerobic respiration. Meanwhile, elite drivers of the Nike ONE have been known to pursue intensive regimens aimed at building tolerance to lactate, a harmful byproduct of anaerobic respiration. This is commonly referred to as pain-training, or PT, and is NOT RECOMMENDED for any but the most serious competitors. PT Methods include sitting against a wall for hours on end, repeated deep lunges while carrying enormous weights, and so-called micro-methods, like standing on the tips of your toes or hanging by the hands from a bar for hours at a time.
About the Car.
Drivers of the Nike ONE describe it as a cross between wearing a machine and being a machine. Control, acceleration and braking is achieved with the large muscle groups of the legs and arms, similar to working on gym training equipment vs. traditional wrist and ankle movements. The driver controls are centered around a gyroscopic cyber-throttle which integrates cornering, acceleration and braking in a single mental motion. The mind-machine interface uses one non-invasive bio-port at each hand to connect neurotransmitters in the brain to neuro-tranceivers in the vehicle CPU. All controls feature the latest generation Supersensortm components enabling micro-resolute command-calls for maximum efficiency in breaking, acceleration and cornering. Drivers say it helps them make tiny adjustments in speed and direction, and contributes to their overall feeling of connection, power and oneness.
The Nike ONE utilizes heads-up display with race line tracking, energy reserves, etc. NikeMax Optics Smart Glass that adjusts color to conditions for optimal contrast and clarity, Hub-less MMIW micro-motor-in-wheel, carbon/titainium weave flex frame/suspension, active aero, variable profile regrind tires (motorcycle-like strait line profile and racing slick-like cornering profile) combined with active camber/caster, Nike SHOX seat suspension to name a number of the high-end innovations.
(Design by Phil Frank Design, LLC. Images rendered by Toru Kosaka. Text courtesy Phil Frank Design).
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