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Biomechanics in Cyberspace
Presented at the International Society of Biomechanics (ISB)
Jyvaskyla, Finland, July, 1995.

It is a pleasure to be back in Jyvaskyla after 20 Years (ISB-1975 ***** ISB-1995)



In 1975 we were on the Ground

Biomechanics of Athletic Shoe Design
G. B. Ariel
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

In 1995 we are in Cyberspace


Gideon Ariel, Ph.D.

Cyberspace is a term created by William Gibson in his novel, Neuromancer, to represent a universe sustained by a vast network of computers and telecommunications lines. Gibson's fantasy universe became a reality with the Internet which provides access to a worldwide collection of information resources and services.

It is a window on the ever-expanding world of on-line information. The new communication links afforded by rapid satellite/computer exchanges will enable the field etworking. The Web is growing at an astounding rate and is changing the scientific world by making it possible for anyone to transmit and receive information around the world.

In the fast-moving, global research environment, it is crucial that current information is available to the scientist who needs it. The World Wide Web project was started in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee at the CERN high-energy physics laboratory. The goal of the project was to find a way to share research and ideas with others employees and researchers scattered around the world.

Like a puzzle, the Web connects several protocols, including:

  1. FTP - File Transfer Protocol.
  2. Telnet - Terminal log-in to a host.
  3. WAIS - Wide-Area Information Servers.
  4. Gopher - Tabulated information on hosts.
  5. Usenet - News.
  6. E-Mail - SMTP
  7. Hyper Text transfer Protocol - HTTP

Utilizing the tools available in Cyberspace, the Biomechanist can retrieve and display data as well as documents from virtually anywhere on the planet. Studies can be conducted at multiple locations and data rapidly exchanged among these sites. Thus, with the Internet's hypermedia-based interface, documents can include color images, text, sounds, and animation. As a hypermedia technology designed for searching and retrieving, Internet provides a unified interface to the diverse protocols, data formats, and information archives appropriate for biomechanical endeavors.

Furthermore, most of the documents are "hypertext" which is a paper containing links to other texts, media, and/or locations. In other words, electronic links - known as Hyperlinks - can provide specified information within a document by embedding full-color images, sounds, graphs, bibliographies, supplementary resources, data bases, etc.

This interface allows information located around the world to be interconnected in an environment that permits users to travel through the information super-highway merely by clicking on "hyperlinks."

Similarly, complex biomechanical research segments at different research sites can be "tethered" through these "hyperlink" phases.

Biomechanical analysis in Cyberspace can utilize the following functions:

  • Independent video capturing in various sites around the world.
  • Images sharing between sites.
  • Multi-site digitizing.
  • Analog data such as EMG, Force-plate, etc.
  • Data processing such as transformation and filtering by various sites.
  • Data analysis at various locations.

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