Kiwi tech company using space age know-how to help NZ athletes get an edge

Dr Dianne Jones and Steve Leftly may be a long way from helping NASA but now the New Zealand tech experts are using that same space age know-how to help Kiwi athletes break and beat the pain barrier.

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Myovolt founders Steve Leftly and Dr Dianne Jones are helping NZ's best break and beat the pain barrier. Source: 1 NEWS

Dr Jones and Leftly have put astronauts into space with suit technology that controls everything from headlights on helmets to the robotics on the Mars rover in the past, but their latest work has been a lot closer to home.

“We're trying to create clothing with physiotherapy benefits,” Leftly told 1 NEWS.

“It's quite a unique niche field but it's actually going to be growing very fast. That's the next generation of technology.”

Their company, Christchurch-based Myovolt, are wearable tech experts and have been testing their world-first performance-enhancing garment on our top endurance athletes such as Ironman champions Mike Philips and Hannah Wells.

“There’s no recovery tool that you put it on and magically your ironman legs are no longer sore,” Wells said.

“But every little bit helps.”

So far, clinical trials show promise, with data showing muscle stiffness reduced by up to 70 per cent, Dr Jones said.

“It uses focal vibration technology to deliver a treatment targeted at a particular muscle or joint and it helps to improve local circulation and increase blood flow.”

And if the resume wasn’t impressive enough already, Myovolt already has proven success in Olympic sports, having teamed up with Adidas to create the British cycling team's "hot pants" at London 2012. 

With their muscles kept at optimum temperature while racing, they cleaned up all the major medals at the Games with eight golds, two silvers and two bronzes.

Philips told 1 NEWS he hopes he can benefit the same way with Myovolt’s latest work.

“I’ll probably strap them all on!”