Feb. 11, 2016
MIAMI–Recently released details concerning Fox Studio’s planned May launch of the XXXFL confirms that players will be outfitted with high-tech, mesh nanotube uniforms designed by Fox Labs scientists in collaboration with researchers at IBM and Stanford University. “We’re very excited about the XXXFL and about the innovative technology that will make it the hottest new sport since Survivor,” explains Fox Sports Programming VP Jerry Reale. “These new uniforms offer superior injury-protection to the players and still let us bring you the first all nude full-contact sport. This is another perfect example of cutting-edge technology enabling great TV.”
Constructed of bundled and twisted-pair carbon nanotube fibers, the uniforms are the first to realize the promise of years of applied “nanogarment” research. “I pioneered the whole field of nanogarments years ago with a simple goal,” notes Stanford Professor of Nanoscience Lars Figgs, “I simply wanted to design the skimpiest garment possible. After some early missteps, I had a paradigm-shaking realization. Rather than enhancing skimpiness by minimizing coverage, I could, instead, engineer garments that covered most of the body but which were made of a nano-scale mesh effectively invisible to the human eye. Nano-mesh garments both maximize exposure and, when tailored, offer superior body-sculpting support.”
The invisible mesh of the XXXFL nanogarment uniforms protects players from injury during the games’ rambunctious “downs” by exploiting the superior strength of carbon nanotube fibers, engineered versions of which enjoy nearly 1000 times the strength of steel at one tenth the weight. “Because the XXXFL is a full-contact, co-ed sport, we were looking for an equipment solution which would offer some equalizing protection to our smaller players,” explains Fox’s Reale. “The piezoelectric joints and seams absorb tackling impact, reducing the advantage of brute force. And, the push-up tubetops and codpieces make sure the players always look hot.”
The uniforms have also been designed to take advantage of some of the semi-conducting properties of nanotubes. Powered by piezoelectric “buckyball-and-joint” nodes, the uniforms act as wireless, wearable computers, offering full player motion-capture and high-resolution impact-capture. “By the end of this first season, or, at the latest, the beginning of the next, we’ll release full-contact immersion uniforms for home viewers under the ‘NakedI’ label,” notes Reale. “Through Fox, you’ll be able to subscribe to your favorite players, and, once you’re online, we’ll send the impact data to you realtime. When Rod Steele or Lily Lush get tackled, you’ll feel it at home just the way they do on the field.”
The XXXFL uniforms also implement nanotube based Field Emission Displays (FED) that emit colored light in response to impact and body heat. “When players are hit, you’ll see kaleidoscopes of color dance across our bodies,” explains a uniform-demonstrating player from the Miami Goo Fighters. “When we’re injured or flushed, you’ll see that too.”
Responding to critics, Fox’s Reale is quick to point to the history of sport for precedent: “Some people have said that the XXXFL is exploitative and that it’s not a real sport, but look at the Olympics. Classically, Olympians competed in the nude. Sports is a celebration of the human body, and that’s what the XXXFL is too.”
The XXXFL season is scheduled to begin May 15 when the Tennessee T&A play the Dallas Drillers in Enron Arena.