Emerging technology in sport


Sports are changing rapidly with the modern developments in technology.

Cheaper manufacturing, more compact designs and rapid improvements have led to a boom in “wearables”, monitoring and other products that are integrated in everything from solo activities such as running, swimming and riding through to a wide range of contact team sports including Aussie Rules and football (soccer).

Technology in sport has become so widespread that if you aren’t using it you are going to fall behind the competition. Key figures in the sporting business world agree. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, sporting entrepreneur Mark Cuban said “Of course we’re going to use technology, just like any other industry, to be smart. Sports compete with every other method of entertainment. We have to compete like everybody else to be smarter, better and faster. Investing in technology is one important way to get there.”

In 2016, it is anticipated that the wearable technology explosion is only going to continue to grow.

There have been massive developments across all the areas of sport. From fan-based technology right through to coaching technology, sports science and player-based technology.

There are heart rate monitors and wristband devices from companies like Garmin and Fitbit. Cutting edge technology such as virtual reality is emerging, which is slowly making it’s way into the NBA who kicked off the 2015-16 season as the first league to broadcast a live professional sports game in VR.

The hawk-eye is widely used, and especially known in tennis – this is the camera/software technology that is used not only for fans to see live stats, but also for coaches and players to use for performance analytics.

Whilst drones are still under heavy regulations, they are currently being incorporated in the U.S. Open and X Games to capture difficult footage that an ordinary camera crew or robotic arm cannot possibly reach.

And something that has emerged which is helping contact sports players analyse and improve their performance is wearable GPS tracking, which is usually worn either in an under-garment vest, produced by companies such as Catapult, or a much more affordable consumer version by the team here at SPT.

This is just a brief glance at the different technologies emerging and fast becoming an integral tool for many athletes and sports professionals alike. We live in exciting and revolutionary times and they are only going to become more so!

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