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New Wearable Helps Olympic Runners Optimize Performances

As the world's best athletes head to Rio for the Summer Olympics next month, they'll have a lot of cutting edge technology to take with them.

Track athletes, in particular, may be getting some help from Kinematix, a Portugal-based company that makes a wearable device called Tune. The device monitors both feet simultaneously, allowing sprinters and runners to analyze the relevant parameters and personal patterns in their running forms.

Athletes can get data on their mobile devices immediately after a practice or event, says Kinematix CEO Paulo Ferreira dos Santos.

"I think this is just the beginning," Ferreira dos Santos said.

Distance runner Ryan Vail, who is recovering from a stress fracture in his femur and missed the U.S. Olympic trials last week, spoke to NBC Bay Area via Skype about how runners love this kind of technology.

Vail said the younger generation of athletes is much more comfortable measuring their runs via GPS or other high-tech means.

"As a professional runner, we're always looking for ways to clean up our training, make things easier and stay healthy," he said. "This device can help do a lot of those things, especially on the staying healthier side -- just being able to notice differences in stride and catching problems before they arise. And try to make your stride more efficient, which is going to allow you to run faster, especially in the later stages of a race."

Vail said he has used Tune during long-distance training runs and saw tangible differences in the way his body performed at various intervals.

Ferreira dos Santos agrees the device - as well as wearable tech in general - is gaining popularity with pro and amateur athletes.

"All of them, when I talk about athletes, they want to be in all the meetings," he said. "They want to be included in all the details."

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