Technology is a big part of our lives. We navigate via Google Maps, get our news and weather online, have phones and other devices that help us to schedule meetings, remind us to do our homework, and keep track of our extra-curricular activities. And that’s just on the organisational side! We have bluetooth speakers and headphones, watches that measure our heart rates and sleeping schedules, tell us how many steps we have taken, and how many calories we have lost. Yet more technology can be used to keep track of our loved ones medicines, and our food and nutritional requirements. It is almost impossible to imagine our daily routine without any of our gadgets!
Let’s now take a look at ‘wearable technology’, and how it is being used in another area – that of sports.
What is Wearable Technology?
This is technology that one can wear. This is typically a small device that is somewhere on your body and measures your vitals. Think of your FitBit or Garmin products, or other smart watches. However, wearables are now entering the market in the guise of shoes, helmets, glasses and clothes.
Wearable Technology in Sports: The condition of their bodies is of utmost importance for sports people. Their trainers help them to track their performance, but there are wearables that offer more accurate statistics related to performance during play. They also help in assessing injury.
Bet you didn’t know this! All 32 teams that participated in FIFA World Cup 2018 used approved wearable technology during their practice sessions.
Here are some wearables that people are using:
Statsports Apex and PlayerTek by Catapult: These were used in FIFA 2018. They are small devices placed between the shoulder blades of an athlete. Each device monitors vitals and information relating to the position of the player, distance covered, heart rate, kick accuracy, and impact from tackles. They use GPS technology and live stream the information to the coach’s device. The coach then uses this information to plan team strategy.
Hublot Big Bang Referee Smartwatch: FIFA 2018 referees wore this watch. In addition to being a watch, it allows the referee to know in seconds if the ball has crossed the goal line fully and if the goal has been scored!
Smart shoes from companies like Under Armour: A fitness tracker has been placed inside the shoe. It records data on your run and sends it to your device via Bluetooth technology. The shoes are washable and the batteries never need charging as they are designed to last longer than the shoe life.
Myontec Mbody Connected Shorts: These are hip hugging shorts designed for cyclists and athletes. They measure the electrical activity of the muscle and transmit information on speed, distance and heart rate to a device.
Oakley Radar Pace These sunglasses have ear buds attached to them. They allow athletes and cyclists to connect in real time with their online coach for advice.
There is a lot more research being conducted into ‘smart’ t shirts and other clothing for sports. Stay tuned for further developments!
Written by: Preetika Soni. Preetika is a freelance content writer and transcriptionist. Her interests are photography, crochet, and finding answers for her 3 year old son’s ‘But Why’ questions.