A soft robotic exosuit "could help athletes run faster and farther" than ever before, said George Dvorsky at Gizmodo. Researchers at Harvard have designed a lightweight, wearable device that instantly improves athletic performance. The textile-based design contains flexible wires that "perform the function of a second set of hip extensor muscles, applying force to the legs with each stride."

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In tests, the exosuit has been shown to reduce the metabolic cost of running by 5.4 percent. In practical terms, that means making a 26.2-mile marathon feel more like 24.9 miles, or improving a runner's pace from 9 minutes 14 seconds per mile to 8 minutes 49 seconds without extra training. Right now, the prototype device has to be plugged in to work, meaning it can only be used on a treadmill. But once it becomes portable, it could help athletes smash existing records.