Sports fans and managers are addicted to data. Smart sports technology is booming; thanks to the Internet of Things, the opportunity to collect more data is pushing players to improve performance and fans to be more engaged.
Brands are benefiting from smart sports technology
After wearables like Fitbit have changed the world of running, increasingly affordable sensors are now being placed inside existing sports equipment, from basketballs to bicycles.
The NFL started to use RFID sensors on shoulder pads to tag and track their players’ performance, using the data for broadcasters, displays, and effective coaching of the athletes. “The league has been very interested in trying to broaden that and bring new statistics to the fans” said Matt Swensson, senior director of Emerging Products and Technology at the NFL to CIO, “Along the way, there’s been more realization about how the data can be leveraged to make workflow more efficient around the game”.
In tennis, PIQ and Babolat introduced a wearable device inserted in a wristband that lets you play tennis better, tracks your progress and lets you send challenges to your friends.
The trend of IoT sports didn’t skip over Golf, where several companies have launched smart golf sticks to help improve your swing. The Swing Wizard by Wizard Golf and the M-Tracer Golf Swing Analyzer by Epson are among the leading products in the market that are aimed at helping players perfect their game.
Market leaders such as Adidas are not ignoring the phenomena either. The sporting goods giant have recently introduced a smart soccer ball, that helps players improve their skills and keeps track of their data during training sessions, with information presented on the smartphone showing how fast they kick, the ball’s trajectory, and more. It also allows you to set challenges and save scores.
“The miCoach ecosystem is rooted in making athletes better,” said Christian DiBenedetto, senior innovation director at Adidas to Engadget.
It seems that in our fast-paced world, if you want to be a good athlete and play better, you need to keep pace not only with your coach’s requirements, but also with your own data.