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Novel sports experience by PRG (US) and Sioen (Flanders)

A volleyball net that shows the strength of a volleyball player’s smash attack and displays ads during breaks: this innovation – invented by American entertainment technology company PRG and Flanders-based textile company Sioen – will be used during games starting next year.

Showcase at the Olympics De Tijd newspaper

“It all started with the opening ceremony of the London Olympics 2012,” explains Frederic Opsomer from PRG XL Video. During the Games, the company turned the entire Olympic arena into one big video screen by distributing an LED-lit tablet to everyone in the audience. “Shortly after, we were challenged to turn the volleyball court into a screen.”

Smart textile expertise from Flanders

The volleyball net with built-in LEDs is the first outcome of this R&D challenge. XL Video is looking into ways to apply this new technology to tennis, hockey and boxing. “Combining textiles with electronics isn’t easy,” Opsomer admits. “At first, we tried to achieve this on our own, but it wasn’t until we joined forces with experts from Flanders-based textile company Sioen that we succeeded.” All in all, it took both companies two years to develop the technology.

Flexible electronics in the making

PRG XL Video is considering employing five to ten extra people to assemble the nets in the coming months. In addition, the company is already thinking on the long-term: together with Flanders’ nano- and digital technology research center imec, PRG XL Video is planning to build stretchable electronics into the nets. 

More info

PRG XL Video
Reported by
De Tijd newspaper
2 December 2016

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