V1’s been tracking the latest developments in sports technology – a booming industry that brings games into fans’ living rooms and helps coaches fine-tune training methods. But if you thought that the marriage between sports and tech had reached its apex, you’d be wrong. In fact, innovative companies are coming up with even more strange and wonderful ways to improve player performance and the viewing experience.
Big data has been a constant presence in the sporting world in recent years, with teams and coaches able to use the information to make quick decisions in real time and also to more effectively analyze opponents. It’s helping to better engage with fans too, with companies such as global consultancy firm Accenture using data to provide viewers with more accurate score predictions and detailed on-screen stats.
By applying machine learning to big data, sports teams and coaches will be able to do all of the above and more, and more quickly. AI programs can analyze the data faster than a team of humans and come up with accurate predictions about individual players and whole team performance by not only analyzing the game in-play, but also data from previous matches.
Wearable devices have become a consistent feature in modern sports, allowing the all-important data to be accurately tracked. However, these devices come with their own problems, and have been met with resistance by a number of sports organizational bodies. Both the National Football League (NFL) and the National Hockey League (NHL) have banned the use of wearables during games. The solution: invisible wearables woven into the fabric of clothes or shoes. This type of technology is set to take off in the near future. Not only could it appease regulatory bodies, it would also provide more accurate results, as the invisible devices can be placed anywhere on the body, whereas wearable watches only track data from the wrist.
Clearly, these technology revelations are becoming more and more necessary for top athletes and teams to keep ahead of the competition. As long as that trend continues, it’s unlikely that tech companies will stop dreaming up new ways to capture data and better analyze it for delivery to sports fans everywhere.