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Published on Tuesday, September 10, 1996 by Gideon Ariel

Dear Reader:

I hope you have had the opportunity to see the equipment being built by Ariel Dynamics, Inc. If so, you have seen the latest technological advancements from the Pioneer in the fields of motion analysis and exercise equipment. The Founder and President of the company, Dr. Gideon Ariel, has been a leader and set the standards for many of the biomechanical analysis companies that have followed in his footsteps since his early work and publications in the 1960’s.

When you use any of the Ariel Equipment, you will enjoy the same confidence in the accuracy, innovativeness, dependability, and progressive technology utilized by NASA, Olympic Committees, universities, doctors, and hospitals around the world. Ariel technology has always been, and still is, the most exciting and sophisticated method of motion analysis and is sold by the People and the Company which was the first, the best, and the most reliable.

Unfortunately, rumors, inaccuracies, conflicting information, and marketing techniques have been circulated about many individuals, including Gideon Ariel. Those who may be interested in documented facts can verify the information which will be presented briefly in this letter. This short introduction to Gideon Ariel and the Ariel technologies is provided merely as background information; further discovery is left to the reader.

Dr. Ariel has been active in the fields of exercise and movement quantification for more than 30 years. He conducted the first scientific application of anabolic steroids on Olympic athletic performance and the findings were published in refereed journals and presented at conferences (23-37). In 1968, Dr. Ariel invented the first rapid and accurate computerized system to quantify the movement of Olympic athletes using the Newtonian laws of motion. The first innovation in this initial system was a unique sonic digitizer which was manufactured according to his specifications. This device allowed rapid conversion of the athlete’s performance, recorded on 16 mm film, into computer-ready joint center data. The data was then processed by specialized software written by Dr. Ariel and his cadre of programmers for operation on the computer at Dartmouth College. Data calculated by the Ariel software included displacement, velocities, and acceleration for the selected body parts. This first computerized biomechanical analysis system developed by Dr. Ariel has been described in numerous publications (8-10). Soon afterwards, Gideon Ariel founded the first commercial company to quantify human movement. This company was named Computerized Biomechanical Analysis, Inc. (CBA) and, since its inception, has been a leader in software development and scientific research (50,51,59,72). A second company, Ariel Dynamics, Inc., was formed shortly thereafter to focus on the development of products working with various corporations including Wilson Sporting Goods and IBM. Dr. Ariel and his companies currently hold twenty-nine patents and copyrights with other developments pending.

During the Olympic training camps in 1971, CBA collected and quantified data on athletes utilizing this 3D biomechanical analytic equipment and procedures. At that time, the 3D method required orthogonality among the camera locations which was a more cumbersome restriction than the more sophisticated techniques currently employed. These studies were conducted prior to the Abdel-Aziz and Karara publication (1) which is credited with introducing the Direct Linear Transformation (DLT) for 3D analysis. Following these initial efforts with athletes at the Olympic training camps, Gideon Ariel was contracted to apply the biomechanical quantification process to many of the events at the Munich Olympic Games. Subsequently, those results were published in many professional journals illustrating the power of computerized biomechanical analysis to coaches and athletes around the world (2-7). During this early developmental period, other applications for biomechanical analyses were explored. For example, Dr. Ariel presented a paper at the International Society of Biomechanics (ISB) meeting at Penn State demonstrating, for the first time, how the computerized kinematics analysis could be utilized to produce kinetic data at a joint (11).

While analyzing athletic performances, Dr. Ariel determined that enhancing the tools and the surfaces of the events, in addition to working with the athlete on his or her execution of the event, could significantly affect the results. Subsequently, Dr. Ariel published the concept of applying the cinematographical technique in order to design a better shoe specifically for that athletic event (12). This publication led to contracts for CBA with several commercial shoe companies including Adidas, Converse, Spaulding, Pony, and CITC. CBA designed shoes for these companies including the first “Air Shoe,” Computerized Shoes, and Inflatable Shoes, followed by a number of publications by Dr. Ariel on athletic shoe design (13-17). Other types of commercial sporting goods companies sought objective solutions with the modifications, improvements, and inventions of equipment among their product lines in golf, hiking, tennis, basketball, and other events. Many publications resulting from these relationships, with just a few noted here (18-22). CBA was the only company which could provide biomechanically quantitative data at a time when most university personnel criticized such commercialization. Times change, however, and many of the Olympians at universities and scholarly institutes, as well as, sports organizations including various International Olympic Committees, have had to combat budget reductions by providing consulting services.

Following the 1970 Training camp studies, Dr. Ariel’s involvement with the Olympic Committee continued. At that time, the enthusiastic Head of the Sports Medicine Committee was Dr. Irving Dardik and Dr. Ariel served with him as the Founding Chairman of Biomechanics (1976-1984). These two dynamos were able to convince the Executive Director of the U.S. Olympic Committee, Col. Miller, that a Training Center was essential for the preparation of the athletes and the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Squaw Valley, CA was started for this purpose. Eventually this Training Center was relocated in Colorado Springs, CO and a Biomechanics Laboratory was established by Dr. Ariel in his role as Chairman of Biomechanics. Through Dr. Ariel’s efforts, most of the lab’s equipment was donated including Data General’s largest computer; other corporations provided monitors, printers, etc. Additional modules for the biomechanics laboratory resulted from Dr. Ariel’s relinquishing his company’s position in favor of laboratory development; numerous studies were conducted for various sports (38-49) with his guidance. Another contribution to the Biomechanics laboratory was Dr. Ariel’s insistence that a full time, biomechanically-qualified individual be hired for on-site direction of the studies. The first person selected by Dr. Ariel to administer the Colorado springs USOC Biomechanics Laboratory was Dr. Charles Dillman. Later, a number of technicians were hired, including Phil Cheatham. Phil was working on some biomechanical software modules using the source codes for Dr. Ariel’s programs. Phil was innovative and later started his own company.

In addition to his contributions in biomechanics, Dr. Ariel has long maintained an interest in the field of exercise (52-60). One of his consulting efforts for Universal Gym in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s resulted in the first mechanism which enabled a fixed weight stack to vary the resistance while the individual exercised (61-67). This patent covered the variable resistance mechanisms as well as many cam applications. Pursuing his interests in exercise and computerized technology inevitably led Gideon Ariel to invent an exercise system that was actually controlled, not merely monitored, by a computer. This invention, the first ever Computerized Exercise System, became known as the “CES.” In typical Ariel fashion, he has created a completely new, unique Resistive Exercise Dynamometer (RED), which has recently been introduced to the public.

The inspiration for the continuous improvements in the exercise devices and the movement analysis system results from Gideon Ariel’s pursuit of superior performance in people and in products. For example, he contracted an electronics specialist to develop the first frame-grabber board for video to give the user the ability to store video images on the computers hard disk. The biomechanist then has the option of digitizing directly from the video tape or storing those images for later retrieval and digitization. Other innovations developed or incorporated into the system included more choices of smoothing algorithms, including polynomial, cubic and quintic splines, and various filters, which could be applied to different activities at the user’s discretion. There is continuous development on the laptop system. A mechanism which allows panning by one or more cameras and a new 120 Hz camera are other examples of the individual and corporate goals of constantly striving to improve the system. The budget for research and development always gets the funding; the marketing and sales budgets are usually limited to Xerox copies. Always the best product and best options, and enthusiasm for making the system even better. Never look for slick marketing or fancy advertising – flash will never replace substance at Ariel Dynamics, Inc.

The purpose of this letter was to illustrate the innovativeness of Ariel and the ideas and technologies which he has continuously developed. Inventors, pioneers, and creative people are frequently attacked through misrepresentations and false or misleading innuendoes. Fortunately, facts and documentation are available through relatively simple library searches. Hopefully this letter will assist those who may be new to the field since it has been said that your friends don’t believe the lies and your enemies spread them.

The Ariel Performance Analysis System (APAS) was the first motion analysis system and has remained the most technologically advanced powerful machine available anywhere. The APAS comes with a complete 3D Video-Based Computer Analysis System including interfaces for E.M.G., Force Plate, and the Resistive Exercise Dynamometer. The Resistive Exercise Dynamometer (RED) allows isotonic, isokinetic, and isometric exercise under computer control. Interfaces for E.M.G., force platforms, and the APAS are available with the RED. All of this is available for the lowest prices when compared with any competitive models.

The Ariel Performance Analysis System is sold directly by the inventor / manufacturer for $49,950.00 and the RED is available for $29,950.00. For those interested, a combination unit of both APAS and RED is available as an option.

If you want the leading, technologically superior system for the best price, please do not hesitate to contact Ariel Dynamics, Inc. – the world’s first and best company for computerized biomechanical systems and innovative computerized exercise and diagnostic equipment.

Sincerely,

Gideon B. Ariel, Ph.D.
Chairman

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