Nike Sport Research Lab - Future of Sportswear

Nike Sport Research Lab - Future of Sportswear

(Reprinted from an article in Dezeen Daily, July 31, 2013)

Matthew Nurse, director of Nike Sport Research Lab, takes Dezeen behind the scenes at the laboratory where Nike tests new technologies and introduces us to Hal, a sportswear-testing robot that perspires as he runs.


Nike Sport Research Lab is part of a sprawling campus just outside of Portland, Oregon, where the American sports brand is based. The lab features a number of sealed environmental chambers, where athletes' performances and the performance of the clothes they wear can be tested in different atmospheric conditions. 


"Our physiology team looks at understanding the body's regulatory systems, so what happens inside," Nurse says. "We use that information to quantify things like thermal temperature, to understand thermal regulation and skin wetness as athletes run and move and perspire." 



 One of these environmental chambers is home to Hal, a marching humanoid that Nurse describes as "a copper sweaty mannequin," which allows Nike to test the permeability and breathability of new sportswear. "Hal is very sophisticated," says Nurse. "We can set the environmental chamber to different conditions, whether it's temperature or humidity, and as he moves he actually perspires. It allows us to understand how different constructions or different methods of making affect the permeability of the garment, which is ultimately going to affect the comfort of the athlete and also the thermoregulation of that athlete. He's an invaluable tool for us." 

For the complete Dezeen Daily (July 31, 2013) article on Nike’s Sport Research Lab, go to: