Nike Strobe Goggles Are Discontinued… for Now

Nike has chosen not to continue producing the amazing training tool/product (Nike SPARQ Vapor Strobes) for whatever reason.  It is baffling to me, and all of the people that have had so much success with them.  There are so many testimonials of athletes having unbelievable success with the goggles.  I cannot figure out for the life of me why Nike does not want to produce them anymore.

Stay tuned though, as rumor has it that there is some big name out there trying to buy the rights to the Strobes, or, they’re going to try to make a very similar product.

I’ll let you know as soon as I hear either way.  For now, they are out of stock… And out of production!

Sometimes Seeing Really is Believing

There are so many people so quick to judge or comment on something that they know nothing about.  People post stuff all the time, like on my Youtube account where there are numerous training videos, from Nike, showing how the Strobe Goggles work, about how they don’t work, etc, etc.

Well, what about all of the athletes I have trained, that come back after training with the Strobe Goggles for just 3 or 4 weeks and are so excited about how much their game (In whatever their respective sport is) has changed.  I’m talking drastic improvements  Batting averages are up, field goal shooting percentages are up, seeing things better and clearer, goalies are stopping more shots.  It’s just incredible how much of a difference the Strobe Goggles are making for athletes.  Then, add in the other vision training that can compliment them and you have an even more drastic improvement in the athlete.

Tell me what other kind of athlete training can get the same drastic results in such a short amount of time!  Training three times a week, for 30 minutes each training session, and within 3 to 4 weeks, player, parents and coach will see quite a difference in that athletes before and after performances.  I’ve personally seen it time and time again.

These things still have not caught on as much as they should… yet!  If you really want a competitive advantage for your athlete, get a pair of the Nike Strobe Goggles now!

Get your pair today.

 

NIKE SPARQ SENSORY PERFORMANCE HELPS ATHLETES ‘SEE SPORT BETTER’

November 18, 2011

New technologies evaluate and improve visual and sensory skills by integrating vision science into training.

NIKE, Inc.sets a new standard in athletic training with the introduction of SPARQ Sensory Performance (SSP), an integrated approach that allows athletes to fine tune their sensory skills and see their sport better.

SPARQ Sensory Performance is a system of technologies, products and programs designed to assess, analyze and improve an athlete’s visual and sensory performance.  It’s another step in Nike’s nearly 40-year legacy of delivering game-changing innovations to help athletes perform at their peak.

“Sensory training is at the cornerstone of how we can build better athletes,” said Paul Winsper, SPARQ Performance Director. “With SSP we’re able to integrate both sensory and physical training together. This performance philosophy has resonated with some of the top athletes, teams and clubs throughout the world.”

Nike SPARQ Sensory Stations
As the first step in improving an athlete’s performance, the SSP “assess” phase uses the Nike SPARQ Sensory Station, an interactive touch screen device, to evaluate athletes on 10 sport-relevant visual and sensory performance skills. The personalized station then translates that raw data into next steps for the athlete, which can guide a training program. The resulting SPARQ Sensory Performance profile compares an athlete’s results to others at their sport, position and skill level to provide a roadmap for improvement.

Once the assessment and analysis are complete, Nike SSP provides two key tools designed to help an athlete improve: the Nike SPARQ Sensory Training Station and Nike SPARQ Vapor Strobe Eyewear.  Athletes at any skill level can integrate both into their training programs to hone their sensory skills.

Nike SPARQ Vapor Strobe Eyewear
Following visual testing to evaluate different aspects of the athlete’s visual skills, a crucial tool to improve key areas is The Nike SPARQ Vapor Strobe Eyewear. By blocking or disrupting vision using a strobe or flicker effect that can be varied in speed, an athlete can develop quicker reaction times and motor skills. The strobe effect improves reaction time by switching between clear and blocked vision, which trains the brain to anticipate what‘s coming when the eyes are blocked.  Features include an adjustable head strap for a secure fit and liquid-crystal lens technology with variable speeds for different levels of training.

“After years of tireless testing, we’ve discovered an innovative way to help increase athletic performance,” said Dr. Alan Reichow, Global Research Director of Nike SPARQ Sensory Performance and Vision.  “The SSP ecosystem of testing and products allows our team to serve the athlete with a clear and actionable plan that helps them see sport better.”

The system is already proving effective. Two recent studies* showed that training with the Nike SPARQ Vapor Strobes improved:

1) The ability to pick up subtle motion cues

2) Visual information processing

3) Timing of motion

Nike SPARQ Sensory Training Stations use software-based training modules to improve multiple sensory performance skills. The stations can be used regularly as an integrated part of training programs for athletes of all levels.  Top collegiate and professional programs have purchased the Nike strobe eyewear and stations, with a full global rollout now in action.

The Nike SPARQ Vapor Strobes are $300 USD and are available Internationally at StrobeGoggles.com.  For additional content including photos and video, or to order your pair today, visit www.strobegoggles.com.

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* Duke University Study: Appelbaum LG, Schroeder JE, Cain MS and Mitroff SR (2011) Improved visual cognition through stroboscopic training. Front. Psychology 2:276. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00276

* Southern Utah University Study: Smith, T.Q. (2011) Sensory Training: Nike Strobe (Master’s thesis). Southern Utah University, Cedar City, UT.

Nike’s SPARQ Shines a Light on Visual Training

By Kyle Stack

You wouldn’t think that old saw, “practice makes perfect” would apply to, say, tracking a baseball as it comes toward you at 95 mph. Nike says it does, and wants to prove it.

The company’s funky new Sparq Vapor Strobe eyewear works with the equally geeky Sparq Sensory Station to analyze and improve 10 vital visual and sensory skills. The eyewear’s lens work a bit like a strobe light — hence the name — by alternating between clear and obstructed fields of vision to improve your ability to target an oncoming object. Think of it as watching that baseball through a venetian blind you’re opening and closing dozens of times a minute.

It sounds crazy, but evidence suggests it works. The system has been used in particular by NFL players like St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson and Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings. But you don’t have to be catching long bombs to benefit from the technology. Nike swears it can help any athlete in any sport where keeping your eye on the ball is critical.

“The clearer you see, the better the reaction, the better the depth perception,” says Dr. Alan Reichow, Nike’s vision and science research director, who’s been studying visual and sensory performance in sports since the late 1970s.

 

Sparq Sensory Performance, as the system is called, is the latest evolution in the Sparq program Nike launched in 2004 to create an array of training products and programs. Reichow worked with Paul Winsper, Sparq’s performance director, to create the system. Although it’s designed to work as a system, you can use the $300 Vapor Strobe eyewear (pictured) without the additional hardware. Good thing, too, because Nike says the Evaluation unit, which includes training capability, retails for $85,000 and is usually purchased as a 36 month lease. The Training unit costs $55,000. Both models include a three-year service contract.

If you want the full monty, you start with the sensory station. It’s got a wireless high-def touch screen and a custom app that takes you through a 30-minute test to evaluate 10 skills: visual clarity, contrast sensitivity, depth perception, near-far quickness, target capture, perception span, eye-hand coordination, decision-making, hand reaction time and visual endurance. That done, the system creates a custom profile so you can compare your performance to others who play the same sport, or even the same position. The idea is to identify your visual and sensory strengths and weakness. That information informs the two-part training program that follows.

For part one, two screens on a wall-mounted training system help hone four visual and sensory skills: depth perception, eye-hand coordination, decision making (thinking quickly under pressure) and split attention. That last one is tested and improved by forcing you to use peripheral vision to focus on a task on a secondary screen while responding to verbal commands with the primary screen.

Part two requires putting on the Vapor Strobe. The look like a pair of ski goggles and feature a curved LCD lens.

“That was a challenge, to trap it in the frame, to get a curved plastic LCD lens. It took several years,” says Reichow.

The lens works like a shade or venetian blind, rapidly alternating between clear and obstructed views. Two buttons near the right lens allow you to determine the speed with which the lens alternates. There are eight speeds, each obstructing your view for increasing periods of time. The slower the speed, longer your vision is blocked and the harder it is to track an object.

An additional feature allows each lens to operate independently, so one remains clear while the other flickers between transparent and opaque. This is handy if you want to “train” one eye.

Once you’ve strapped on the Vapor Strobe, it’s time to practice on-field drills. The program includes dozens of drills for football, soccer, baseball, basketball and other sports. All focus on a common goal: Improve the 10 skills evaluated in the sensory station.

Nike says those skills invariably improve when a person attempts to recognize and track an incoming object — say, a tennis ball coming over the net — using limited visual and sensory feedback. Essentially, less is more. If a wide receiver successfully tracks a pass using a scant amount of relevant visual input during practice, then the task should, in theory, be that much easier in a normal setting when all information is available.

“You have to project in the mind’s eye where the ball will be,” Reichow says. By momentarily obstructing your vision, your brain is forced to project where the ball will be. As it hones that skill, Reichow says, you’ll be able to better track the ball with full vision.

Does it work? Yes. Well, sorta.

Nike-funded study by Duke University, published Oct. 28, found a mixed bag of results for the Vapor Strobe. Researchers tested 157 people, many of them Duke university athletes, by subjecting them to Sparq computer-based evaluations of their visual and sensory skills. Then they were subjected to visual-motor training wearing the Strobe. Eighty-five people participated in lab exercises, while 31 members of the university ultimate Frisbee team and 41 varsity football players took to their respective fields for drills.

Researchers found the technology provided the greatest benefits in central visual field motion sensitivity and transient attention abilities. In other words, the gadgetry improved an athlete’s ability to recognize an object in the central field of vision. Many improvements were seen in as little as two days.

On the other hand, there was no benefit observed in peripheral vision.

What does this mean for a professional athlete? Their skill levels are so sharp, and their professions so competitive, that even the slightest performance gain can mean the difference between success and failure. Weekend warriors probably will see less benefit.

Reichow notes that 1.1 million nerve fibers in each eye transmit visual and sensory information to the brain. That’s a lot for a person to process, and the time available to evaluate it can be brief, depending on the sport.

“We all get the same information,” says Reichow. “The quality of the information from the eyes on up and then what we do with it is where we really differ from each other.”

Photos and video: Nike

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Fast Pitch Softball See’s the Difference Right Away

A softball coach in Utah orders a pair of the Strobe Goggles from www.strobegoggles.com. He gets them on a Friday. On Saturday, before a few tournament games he uses them during warm ups. He said he and his girls noticed a difference right away. He said he wishes they could afford to order more.

He called a few days later so that we could go over some drills for his girls to use. I gave him some hitting/batting drills as well as some fielding drills for them to do.

Man I love these things.

 

 

 

 

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Strobe Goggles Studied by Duke University

Strobe Eyewear Training May Improve Visual Abilities

Psychologists tested the device on undergraduate students, including athletes.

TOPICS FOR THIS STORY: RESEARCHATHLETICSNATURAL SCIENCESSTUDENTS
May 19, 2011 | Karl Leif Bates
strobe glasses

Student research assistants Mike Schallmo (left) and Benjamin Crisp (right) with assistant professor Stephen Mitroff. (Duke Photography, Les Todd)

DURHAM, NC - Strobe-like eyewear designed to train the vision of athletes may have positive effects in some cases, according to tests run by a team of Duke University psychologists who specialize in visual perception.

The eyewear has lenses that alternate between clear and opaque states, producing a strobe experience. Nearly 500 people participated in more than 1,200 training sessions and had their visual abilities tested before and after they wore the eyewear. They completed visual-motor tasks, such as catching and throwing a ball, as well as computer-based tests.

Once the eyewear is removed, the theory goes, the brain’s visual processing has been trained to see the ball’s path more clearly. The Duke psychologists found subjects experienced some improvements in noticing brief stimuli and detecting small changes in motion after training with the eyewear.

Anecdotally, some athletes who trained with the eyewear also report that the ball seems to have slowed down when they view it with regular vision afterwards, said Stephen Mitroff, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke who led the research.

The strobe eyewear has lenses that alternate between clear and opaque states at eight different rates, with a constant 100 milliseconds (one-tenth of a second) of clear vision between each opaque phase. At their most rapid flashing rate, the eyewear becomes opaque for 67 milliseconds, six times per second. At the slowest rate, they are opaque for 900 milliseconds, or 90 percent of each second.

The research was funded by Nike, which developed the eyewear and is marketing it as Nike Vapor Strobe. The Duke team presented its findings May 6 in a poster session at the Vision Sciences Society in Naples, Fla.Participants included Duke athletes in varsity football, men’s basketball and men’s and women’s soccer, as well as students in club teams for ultimate Frisbee, volleyball and juggling, and other undergraduates. Half of the participants trained with the strobe eyewear and the other half trained with control eyewear that was identical, but with clear lenses. All completed computer tasks that measured visual sensitivity and attention before and after training with the eyewear. The experiments were designed to evaluate whether those who wore the strobe eyewear would improve more after the training than those who wore the control eyewear, said postdoctoral researcher Gregory Appelbaum.

Because this was a preliminary study, the researchers were unsure what measures would give them the clearest results. They tried several different lengths of exposure to the eyewear, different strobe rates and many physical and computer-based tasks. They found performance improvements in some tests, but not in all of them. The Duke team measured slight improvements in some tests after only two 25-minute training sessions, and in both elite athletes and non-athletes. In other cases, they found no changes.

“Our results varied, but stroboscopic training does seem to enhance vision and attention,” Mitroff said. “Not every test we tried showed differences, but several showed significant improvements.”

For example, after training with the eyewear, participants were more sensitive to small amounts of motion. They also were better able to pick up visual details that were only available for about one-tenth of a second.

Preliminary data also suggest a possible improvement at a dribbling skills test with the varsity soccer players. The results show the eyewear does affect vision performance, but there is still much more to learn, said Mitroff, whose main body of research concerns the ability to see hidden objects in displays, such as security scans or radiological films. More research is needed to figure out how little or how much exposure to the eyewear has an effect, how long that effect may last and which skills are affected most.

“There are still many open questions,” Mitroff said. “We don’t know how long these effects last. We don’t know much training is needed, and we don’t yet have the whole picture on what is being trained.”

Despite the lingering questions, Mitroff said the eyewear may be a great tool for looking at how the brain adapts to changing conditions and how visual cognition works.

Buy a pair and see for yourself

Vision Training Awareness

How many athletes, parents, trainers and coaches really know about the difference vision makes?  I’m guessing it’s still relatively new.  Because, from what I have learned about training an athletes eyes and brain to see clearer, think quicker, and react faster, it is amazing to me how more people are not more urgent in regards to doing this kind of training.  I have seen such amazing improvements in average athletes after we had trained their vision.  I have trained and coached athletes of all levels and sports and have never witnessed such amazing results in such a short amount of time.

Don’t walk, RUN out and get your pair of strobe goggles today.  There are other vision training products and drills on the market too.  Some of which will be available here soon too.

Nike Strobe Goggles

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Rose Bowl Champions Using Nike Strobe Goggles

Oregon Ducks: With Help of Nike’s Vapor Strobe Eyewear, Chip Kelly’s Team Has Found a Way to Change Game

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bear Heiser/ National Football Authority

By Bear Heiser

Senior Writer
The Oregon Ducks have been on the forefront of innovation in college football dating back to the late 1990s.
Oregon can’t take all of the credit, though. The athletic programs in Eugene have been a large part of the Nike family since the company was founded in 1964 by Oregon alums Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman.
Head coach Chip Kelly and his coaching staff have built this era of Oregon football on speed—game changing speed. But, in recent years, with the help of Nike, Kelly found a new game changer.
What, you may ask? It’s simple—the eyes.
“You go into the weight room and you train your entire body, but 85 percent of what happens to you comes from your vision,” Kelly told myself and a group of media members while touring Oregon’s facilities. “But nobody really does anything to train your eyes. You either had good eyes or bad eyes, and if you had bad eyes, you played offensive line because you couldn’t catch.”

Four years ago, Kelly and the Ducks began working to strengthen the connection between the eyes, the brain and the body. Nike developed a product called “Vapor Strobe Eyewear.”

Photo Courtesy of Nike

With the Vapor Strobe eyewear, “lenses flicker between clear and opaque, removing visual information and allowing athletes to become more efficient with the information they are given.”

Vapor Strobe eyewear allows you to change the frequency of the flashes you see in the lenses, and you can also completely block out one eye at a time, which helps you develop depth perception in the uncovered eye.

From my experience while catching passes with the Vapor Strobe eyewear on, you’re forced to rely more on instinct. One second, you see the ball, the next second, you don’t—the next thing you know, the ball is on you.
Vapor Strobe eyewear focuses on the following:
(Information below was provided by Nike)
Focus/Attention–Directing and maintaining attention on the primary task, such as tracking an object through space.
Timing–Precision and accuracy of timing a response to a moving object.Imagery–Constructing a mental image to recreate an object or event.
Reaction Time–Time required to mentally process visual information and take action.
Balance–Ability to maintain stability while making rapid eye movement to track or search for an object.
Peripheral Vision–Detecting movement and monitoring surroundings outside the primary line of sight.
Kelly’s players use Vapor Strobe eyewear during practices and in warm-ups prior to games. If you were to go into the Ducks locker room 15-20 minutes before game time, you’d likely find his players throwing tennis balls against the wall while wearing Vapor Strobe eyewear.
“They really train your eyes to focus and concentrate on the object your trying to catch,” Kelly said. “And if you can develop better hand-eye coordination, because you really have to use all of those muscles, now take the glasses off and it makes things much easier.”
Photo Courtesy of Nike

Kelly likens the new technology to a baseball player warming up with a weighted bat.

“I can tell from the performance of our players when they go out onto the field which ones have actually trained with them,” Kelly said.
Vapor Strobe eyewear isn’t for every one of Kelly’s players, though. If you come in regular contact with the ball, Kelly will have you train with them on. Meaning, you won’t find offensive or defensive lineman wearing them. They are for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, linebackers and cornerbacks.
Quarterbacks, for example, wear them to help with concentration when the ball is snapped. Prior to the snap, a quarterback must have complete awareness of his surroundings. With all of the movement that takes place at the line of scrimmage, he still must be able to catch the snap cleanly.
Kelly, at times, has his quarterbacks wear them for an entire practice.
The acquired skill is referred to as “split attention,” which is the ability to stay focused at what’s at hand while not losing sight of everything else around you.
This skill is what NFL wide receivers like Green Bay’s Greg Jenningsand Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald have virtually mastered. Both wideouts have trained with Vapor Strobe eyewear at Nike’s facilities over the years and they will swear by them.
While you can’t solely give credit for Oregon’s success to this new technology, a case can certainly be made for it playing a large role in a player’s development from game to game and year to year.
Today, Kelly and the Ducks are the only team using Vapor Strobe eyewear, but it won’t be that way forever. Based on Oregon’s success, sometime in the near future, other teams will also demand this new technology.
But, by then, Oregon will likely be on to something bigger and better.

Best of Show

The Nike SPARQ Vapor Strobe received the prestigious Best Of Show award at the American Baseball Coaches Association annual convention held in Anaheim, CA, January 5-7, 2012. The announcement was made in the January 27, 2012 issue of Collegiate Baseball: The Voice of Amateur Baseball.

Terrific Innovations That Will Help All Levels of the Game

By John & Pat Pinkman & Lou Pavlovich, Jr.

The Nike SPARQ Vapor Strobe glasses ($300) are essentially a high tech, beefed up pair of sun glasses that flash repeatedly in various controllable speeds that require intense concentration on moving objects.

They also have the ability to eliminate the vision of either eye in the process and have a convenient rechargeable battery. This means nothing to you unless you wear them and experience the challenge. However, when you do, the world changes.

Nike Strobes are the fulfillment of a product that has been in research and development for many years.

About five years ago, the Pinkman Baseball Academy was asked to review and beta test these strobe glasses. We loved the concept, but the product needed more development to meet rigorous and repetitive use. Nike became involved shortly after.

Last summer, Dr. Keith Smith-son, sports vision consult to the Washington Nationals (and the other professional sports teams in Washington DC), called and asked our academy to use the glasses in our program and report back.

We did, and the players were thrilled. Initially, we incorporated them in hitting and then with our vision program for catchers. Finally we found a practical application for pitchers, specifically defending themselves as infielders after a thrown pitch. In each case, the Nike Strobes focused immediate attention on vision and tracking the flight of the ball.

The players had fun with this challenge as they learned. As we all know, people learn faster if they are having a good time. As a byproduct, we were able to identify and refer serious vision abnormalities and neurological motor skill deficits back to Dr. Smithson for treatment.

It is recommended that you use the Nike SPARQ Vapor Strobe glasses in coordination with professional trainers to prevent injuries.

We were extremely impressed with Athletic Republic Sports Training’s (www.athleticrepublic.com) use of the Strobes in their booth. When we stopped by, we were greeted by Charlie Graves, CEO of Athletic Republic. It is impressive that a CEO of a large company would work a booth at the convention. He spoke with the focus and passion of a knowledgeable trainer.

“Athletic Republic is very excited to add Strobe training to our science-based programs,” said the company’s literature. “Like all our training programs, the Nike Vapor Strobe is based on solid sport-science. The Nike Vapor Strobe improves athletic performance by enhancing visual skills such as focus, attention, anticipation, reaction, visualization, balance, stability and peripheral vision. Sensory training gives players a competitive advantage so they are able to react faster and make better plays in critical situations.”

The Nike Strobes provide a fun challenge to key visual skills and dynamic balance while tracking ball movement indoors or out.

Athletic Republic has discovered that “Taking vision training to the field is truly is a step forward in improving sports performance.”

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