In our blog, it is often that we review or discuss about Inertial Measurement Units (IMU) or we also use the term Wearable Sensors or motion sensors. If you browse through the site, you will find posts about developing IMUs for sports or posts where we look at smart sports products that have IMUs built into them. And in case you don’t have much understanding of what these sensors are about, and/or you would like to find out more, then there is a new book published recently that you should consider reading. It’s called “Wearable Sensors In Sport – A practical guide to usage and implementation“. To help you decide whether this is a book worth getting or reading, we will do a quick overview of the book and briefly touch on what value you might get.
A bit about who wrote it
This book was written by three academics and practitioners in sports science and engineering. Some like to use the term “pracademics”. Two of them (Jim and Dan) can be found in some of the archives of this blog and they have been involved in developing and testing wearable sensors for (many) years. Not only are they (collectively) familiar with the hardware and software of the sensors, they also have hands-on experience in the practical applications of the sensors in sports motion tracking. From swimming and triathlon, to football (of various codes), cricket, tennis and different types of combat sports. We can’t say they have done it all because there are just so many different sports in the world, but we can safely say they have worked out the right approach to use wearable sensors in sports.
Who is it for?
This book is written for those with a sports science background and may be unfamiliar with some of the technical/engineering terms and concepts of inertial sensing and signal processing, and the practical approaches that lead to successful applications. This book is also for those with a technical background such as IT or engineering who may be unfamiliar with exercise science methods and/or working in a sports setting with athletes and coaches. I would add it is basically suited for people who are keen to learn about the field of sports science and technology, likes sports, and has some technical inkling.
What’s in it?
It’s actually not a long book and there are only 5 chapters to it. The first chapter is an introduction about the different types of sensors (accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetometers etc) with some real world examples and trends. The second chapter dives into how the sensors work and practical ways of processing the sensor signal and data. The third chapter goes deeper into the types of accelerations wierth references to some sports applications. The fourth chapter is basically the “bring it all together” chapter where it takes us through the process of solving a problem (case study) in sport through scientific methods. The last chapter finishes off with some key take-home messages and suggestions of what else can be done.
Is it very technical?
It’s hard to answer that question. I would say it is technical enough but not too difficult to read and understand. It also has lots of references to scientific literature and papers which is great for people who are into research. But at the same time, you don’t need to refer to those references to get value out of the book.
Should you get it?
Well, I can’t really answer that question. It really is up to the individual. But here’s where you can get it – Springer Link. If it helps, you could also check out a youtube playlist that Jim did where he basically had a conversation with Dan about technology in sport. (You can watch the first one below)
Lastly, feel free to reach out to the authors if you want more information or if you want to work with them. You can reach out to Jim on his website here:- link; or Dan on his website here:- link ; or Keane here:- link.