It’s day two of the Fifth Test and Australia is trying to keep pressure on England, Roger Federer is dreaming of Hopman Cup glory, and we’re still talking about Ichi Ban’s handicap victory in the Sydney to Hobart. Yes, it’s summer in Australia and all we care about is sport. With that in mind, we’ve decided to take a look at some of Australia’s sporting inventions.
Predator football boot
Craig Johnson, former Liverpool mid-fielder turned inventor, was nicknamed Skippy by his English teammates. One day he was told, 'You – kangaroo – you are the worst footballer I have ever seen in my life. You can hop it back home to Australia immediately.'
Despite this assessment, Johnston’s drive, conviction, and endless energy led him to success at Liverpool. Fast forward several years and Johnson is coaching an Australian kids’ soccer team. He soon realised that their football boots had trouble gripping the ball, particularly in wet weather.
His solution, ultimately named the Predator, was a football boot with deformable sections of rubber (or similar) that helped maintain contact with the ball longer. Since its release, the Predator has been worn by everyone from Steven Gerrard and Jonny Wilkinson to Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham.
Hawk-Eye video review system
An integral part of more than 20 sports, Hawk-Eye cover 7200 games, across 450 stadiums, every single year. Originally developed at Roke Manor Research Ltd, Hawk-Eye works by using multiple, high-frame rate cameras to keep track of a ball in 3D space.
Their vision is then sent to a central computer, which provides a simulation of the ball in motion.
Federer found Hawk-Eye particularly useful in Switzerland’s recent win over Russia in the Hopman Cup. 'I thought it (the ball) was in,' Federer said 'And then when it went out, it was almost a bit of a surprise.'
Perhaps one of Australia’s greatest backyard inventions, the Cricket Cooler was developed and patented by two friends in Adelaide.
Quite simply, the Cricket Cooler is a 33 litre esky that doubles as a set of cricket stumps. 'You only need to take a look at any beach in Australia and you will see children, teenagers, and adults playing our beloved sport. Instead of stumps, they will use a bin, a body board, a chair or any other item that can double as a wicket.'
Featured on channel 10’s Shark Tank, it gained backing from one of the show’s investors and has grown in popularity since. Check out our case study on the Cricket Cooler to learn how provisional patents and trademark protection can help build your business.