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Life in Motion: Wearables for Every Sport

You know what really got me interested in wearable tech? It was the realization that, for the first time ever, we could start to measure and quantify our performance in sports easily. By "we", I mean amateurs, enthusiasts, the everyman, without having to spend thousands of dollars on the most complex and intricate machines.

 

It was the rise of wearable tech, with the likes of Fitbit launching its first product in 2009, to now, with products popping up hundreds of hot new wearables popping up every year, that made all this happen. There has been a sensor and technology tipping point.

 

Improve your game just like the pros

We all know about products like the Fitbit, Jaybird Reign, and Zepp Tennis Sensor. So for now, let's skip sports like running, weightlifting/fitness, and tennis.

 

First Fitbit model 2009

Released in 2009, this was the first model of the Fitbit

 

Let's take a look at three other sports that have really benefited made it possible for everyone to measure and quantify their performance with advanced technology at a reasonable price point.

 

Basketball

Products like the ShotTracker help you easily count shot attempts, misses, and makes to help anyone improve their game. By attaching a sensor to the net, as well as the wrist, data can easily be generated to indicate how well your stroke is.

 

ShotTracker wearable shooting sleeve for basketball

ShotTracker helps you track attempts, misses, and makes of all your shots

 

Using wrist-worn devices, we at Kiwi have developed free-throw and 3-point shooting recognition algorithms that not only count your practice effort, but also how to improve your shot. Sensors can derive key learnings like: is your elbow sticking out too much? Forget the follow through? Release too early?

 

Hockey

How hard can you slap shot? The NHL record is 108 mph, with averages around 85-90 mph (imagine getting hit by one of those!). By attaching an embedded sensor in a hockey stick, or on a wrist-worn device, you can measure if your power and speed of a shot are improving. 

 

Another Canadian-based company, UWHK, have developed a wearable product that attaches to the helmet that allows players to review their play and improve from their own perspective

 

Check out the hype behind the UHWK camera!

 

Soccer

Soccer wearables take a lot from the current fitness and activity trackers, like step-counting or run speed. Other metrics like kicking power and lateral quickness are all measurable with low cost motion sensors and recognition software.

 

Maybe this is the next step for the Adidas miCoach.

 

Wearable soccer shoe miCoach Adidas speed cell

Is this the next step in wearables for soccer?

 

The marriage between sports and wearables is only set to grow

Besides sport specific metrics, many sports can benefit from assessing overall athletic performance and exertion. For example, this can be used for the added benefit of letting athletes fine-tune their strength training programs, as well as gauge fatigue levels throughout a session or game.

 

Wearable sensors are now enabling players to review their progress every practice and make necessary adjustments. Coaches have started using sensors as well to improve training outcomes or measure injury risk. Even scouts can better assess potential draft picks.

 

And this is just the beginning.



Kiwi

Toronto | http://kiwi.ai

Building the future of connected devices and AI as we know it