Connected Sports in the IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) runs on a single currency: data. It relies on a range of sensors to capture data.
And smart manufacturers spotted the opportunity to combine data with the sports industry.
Sensors measure factors that help athletes and amateurs improve their form. They can gauge their performance using feedback displayed on their smartphone. That kind of feedback often comes with a hefty coaching price tag. But the IoT in sports aims to make it more accessible.
Apps analyze movements to point players in the right direction to improve their game. The devices also boost safety by tracking impacts. They make sure athletes use proper form and remind them to stay hydrated.
Let’s look at some options for connected sports in the IoT.
A great sports coach can monitor your progress by watching you play. Take that feedback further by investing in connected balls.
If football is your sport, try the Wilson X Connected Football. A sensor in the ball captures data about the spin rate or spiral efficiency. It also tracks distance thrown and other statistics. Pair the ball with the app before playing a game. It’ll turn your data into statistics to help you pinpoint what you need to improve.
Basketball more your game? Check out Wilson’s X Connected Basketball. You can collect data on your shot range and performance. The app provides feedback on what you do well and what you should improve. Note it’s a practice ball – don’t try playing games with it.
We’re used to wearables in the form of watches or pendants, but how about sensors in your shoes? Check out the Gemini 2.1 Record-Equipped shoes by Under Armour. Part of their Speedform range, they track anything you do while wearing them. Get data on your distance run, time spent on the court, or your running cadence.
The companion app displays the data in a way you can understand. The shoes also notify you when you reach 400 miles. That way, you know when to buy a new pair. The bonus? They’re also comfortable.
Athos fill their skintight sportswear with sensors. They collect data about your heart and breathing rate. Slip the removable core into your pocket to connect with the sensors. They’ll relay the data to your smartphone via the core. At least you can change your gym clothes after each workout.
The data is helpful if you want to pinpoint how you’re working specific muscles. It’s great for those doing resistance or weight training so you can see how effective your program is. Similar wearable fitness wear is available by OMSignal. It’s a great option if you have a home gym so you can control the music you work out to. The SURE Universal Remote app can help you keep the music pumping.
More of a swimmer? The Squeezline is a swimming sensor held in place by your goggles. It beeps whenever a swimmer achieves a tight streamline. That beep coaches the swimmer while they’re learning to streamline. It gives real-time feedback while the swimmer is in the water. They don’t need to wait to speak to their coach.
Elsewhere, Shockbox makes helmet sensors that alert coaches and parents to potential concussions. They also track how many hits a helmet takes. Tracking head injuries is a valuable benefit of IoT devices in sports.
IoT and Sports in the Future
As sensors mature, the possibilities for connected sports are endless. Tech firms are developing the hardware to combine the IoT and sports equipment.
The Kaa IoT Platform is such a bridge between tech firms and IoT products. Sensors and trackers in a range of clothing, devices, or wearables collect data. The Kaa Platform analyzes it and presents the results on mobile devices. They’re a third-party company, so their platform lets sports manufacturers add IoT technology to their gear.
These sports apps and devices can feed into the IoT potential to improve wellbeing. But they can also improve player performance. More importantly, they can help prevent injury.
Over to you – would you use IoT devices to improve your game?