The Rise Of Inertial Sensors In Sports Science


For Australia’s new Journal of Fitness Research, Hugo took a historical look at the use of inertial sensors as a tool in sports science, where its come from and where its going. Well done Hugo!

You can get the full article on line here

The inertial sensor: a base platform for wider adoption in sports science applications

Issue: Vol. 4, No. 1

Published by Journal of Fitness Research, April 2015.  Volume 4

Tags: Human Monitoring , Sports , Inertial Sensors , Accelerometers , Gyroscopes , Magnetometers.

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  1. Hugo G. Espinosa (Corresponding Author)
    SABEL Labs, School of Engineering, Griffith University, Nathan Campus
  2. Jim Lee
    Physiolytics Laboratory, School of Psychological and Clinical Sciences, Charles Darwin University, Northern Territory, Australia
  3. Daniel A. James
    SABEL Labs, School of Engineering, Griffith University, Nathan Campus. Centre of Excellence for Applied Sports Science Research, Queensland Academy of Sport, Brisbane Queensland, Australia


Introduction: Quantifying human movement during sporting activities is of great interest since it allows trainers to assess the athlete’s performance, their rehabilitation and injury recovery. Due to the environment limitations of laboratory testing, research has been focused on the development of Micro electromechanical (MEMS) based inertial sensors with the objective of reducing the sensors in size and power requirements, and making the technology widely available at low cost. The aim of this paper is to present an analysis about the growth of wearable technology, notably, inertial sensors, and the use of a common base platform for different sports application fields including research, education, commercial and servicing.

Methods: The ongoing trends in the inertial sensor technology development through collaborative activity is discussed in this paper. In particular the convergence of several research tools of a three-axial accelerometer/gyroscope and a digital magnetometer, combined with wireless connectivity that allows the control of multiple sensors through a Matlab-based software toolkit are discussed.

Applications fields: The sensor technology has been adopted as an educational tool, as a tool for sports science research, as a base for the development of commercial applications and as a tool that can be used in routing servicing.

Discussion: This paper has examined the growing usage and adoption of inertial sensors in the sports science community, through the vignette of the local development of research tools. It surveyed the current directions of human monitoring using inertial sensors for different sports applications. The research outcomes have subsequently be taken up as commercial products, making sensor use widely available to the general public. Keywords – Human monitoring, sports, inertial sensors, accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers.

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