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
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.
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 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?
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.
Check out the hype behind the UHWK camera!
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.
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.