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Digital Fitness

Posted by BridgeAthletic on Nov 2, 2018 10:05:57 AM

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The Intersection of Sports & Tech 

 

What if we could watch a legend of the past battle a modern-day ultra-athlete to the likes of LeBron or Serena?

 

The latter prevails. Always. While genetics may have something to do with it, our ability to determine a player’s value at 16 years old has never been as accurate as it is today. From 3D lasers, sleep monitors, to powerhouse analytics, coaches now have every opportunity to develop the ultra-athlete of every sport. So, let’s identify some key players in sports tech today to help you determine what can support your next move. 

The Development of Sports Tech

Assisting the Referee
 
Thank you Gridiron, specifically the NFL, for bringing us Instant Replay.
"Replay gives us a better chance to walk off the field error-free." - Art McNally
Instant Replay has advanced tremendously from when it was first introduced to the NFL in the 1980's. Evolving from VCR replays in the box office to multi-angled clips accessible to referees via tablets.
 
“This is a rare opportunity to leverage cutting-edge technology to improve the integrity of the game.”- Mike Pereira, NFL’s vice president
Instant replay has since expanded to a wide array of sports. Umpires on field can communicate through wireless tech with those behind instant replay screens. And are then able to make the appropriate calls to avoid errors or clarify controversial plays. All happening efficiently to avoid major disruption of game play.
 
An Eye-In-The-Sky: Hawk-Eye
Overhead video, or better yet, Hawk-Eye is used in sports such as tennis & cricket to determine if the ball has crossed the line. It takes 600 frames / second on the goal-line. The computer then transmits the reading to the ref’s headset or wrist device. This assistance from technology allows ref's to have eyes everywhere they could possibly want.
 
Developing Hardwares
Not to be mistaken for the common wrist watch or HR monitor, hardwares have grown to differentiate themselves into a category all their own. From connected fitness devices to the likes of UnderArmour’s Health Box or Halo Sports Headphones to popular equipment manufacturers (Concept2,TechnogymLifeFitness) that now allow users to connect seamlessly to improve tracking.
 
Emerging Software
Now let’s turn to our bread and butter. Software Sports Technology.
 
You may think, "software’s software it's all the same!" You’d be seriously missing the (heart)beat. Here’s the breakdown: like hardware tools, you can create 2 key software groups: Consumer Apps & Elite Training Solutions. The former defines training plans crafted by top consumer brands like Nike Training Club (NTC)Aaptiv or MyfitnessPal. While elite solutions serve as the ideal way for performance specialists to create, collect and monitor activity and wellness. 
 
Evolution of technology in sports - the “why” 
Gary McCoy, applied Sports Scientist for Catapult USA puts the importance of sports tech in perspective, "imagine driving a Formula One vehicle and not having a dashboard to know how that engine is performing. It's the same for athletes. If you don't have the information readily available, it's very difficult to know what on-field performance truly looks like. And that's really what is provided through technology."
 
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Topics: Sports Technology, Powering Performance