There has been a number of major sporting events that took place in June 2019 including:
- the UEFA Champions League Final (where Liverpool won),
- the French Open Finals (where Ash Barty won & jumped up to world no2 and then to no1 after the Birmingham Classic),
- the US Open (Golf),
- the NBA Finals (where the Raptors had their first win).
- There’s also the Cricket World Cup and the FIFA Women’s World Cup that is still going on in July.
In terms of sports technology news, there are a couple of collaborative ones in tennis and concussion which is pretty exciting. We have got one about social impact that could inspire all of us to do something that will make a difference. Then we have a couple of start up related news that are basically about disrupting the sports industry (in a good way). So here’s our top 5.
HEAD Launches Racquet Fitting Program
Head in collaboration with the Kovacs Institute has launched a racquet fitting program to help athletes find a racquet that suits their playing style and optimise their performance. There are two parts to the program. First, athletes goes through a questionaire on the Head website where they answer 6 questions. Watson analyses the answers and suggests the top 3 Head racquets that matches them. Next using a protocol developed together with Dr Mark Kovacs, the athletes go through a one hour session of testing/hitting with the racquets fitted with the Head Sensor. Sensor data is collected for all three racquets and used to identify the racquet that is optimum for the athlete. This program is currently only available in the US. You can read more about it in Kovac Institute’s press release here: link.
Catapult Forms Partnership With Prevent Biometrics
Catapult has partnered with Prevent Biometrics to combine athlete tracking data on the field and head impact data with the aim of improving athlete safety. More specifically, elite teams from various football codes including American football, Rugby and Australian rules will be running some trials using Catapult’s Clearsky local positioning system and Prevent Biometrics Impact monitor mouthguard. For those who are not so familiar with these two systems, Catapult’s Clearsky system is really good at tracking position, speed and acceleration of athletes, even when it’s indoors. It can detect impacts in athletes but not high impacts and definitely not impact felt by the head. On the other hand, Prevent Biometrics’ focus is measuring head impacts and not the rest. So marrying the two is potentially going to give teams a much better understanding of how training load, risk of injury and actual head impact data correlate with each other. Find out more on the Catapult website or in this article: How Technology Can Tackle Head Injuries In Sports.
Combining Engineering & Football To Create Energy
This is actually a dated story (back in 2014) but it is definitely worth resharing again. Other than it being a feel-good story, what makes it interesting is having football and engineering play a part in it. The feel-good part is that Morro da Mineira, a favela near Rio de Janerio needed to have a stadium restored so that the people can have a proper and safe place to play football again; and Shell came in with a company called Pavegen to make that a reality. The interesting piece of this is: the new stadium that’s built would be able to generate it’s own energy and power it’s floodlights at night. How? By having people run and play football on the pitch. Right beneath the AstroTurf pitch sits 200 kinetic energy harvesting tiles developed by Pavegen. Every time someone runs or jumps on the pitch, the tiles below are capturing kinetic energy from each step and each bound. It was said that when fully charged, the batteries would be able to power the lights for up to 10 hours. Following this, a similar installation was done in South Africa that left a positive impact; and hopefully, this idea would spread further, inspiring the next generation to think about green technologies and innovations. You can read more about it here: “The first stadium to turn football into electricity” or check out this video that shows some of the transformation in Rio:
The First Techstars Sports Accelerator – Powered By Indy
Techstars is a startup accelerator mainly based in the US but with chapters all over the world including one in Adelaide. According to wikipedia, they have accepted over 1600 companies into its programs and only 1% of the applicants were accepted – which means at least 160,000 companies have applied in the last 13 years and that’s more than 12,000 a year and 1,000 applicants a month. So late last year (Dec 2018), they ran a program specifically for sports technology for the first time. It would be based in Indianapolis and hence it was called Powered By Indy. They have gone through their selection process and picked out 10 that will go through the sports program. The 10 startups are working on solutions for better fan participation and engagement, video & data analysis, fitness, sports apparel, and media. Other than mentoring from the Techstars team, the startups will also be supported by various sports and investment organisations. This is the first of three sports accelerators that has been planned to be in Indy. It will be interesting to see what comes out of this programs. Find out more about the startups here in this article: PSE Announces Inaugural Class of Techstars Sports Accelerator Powered by Indy.
Lumin Sports Technology Makes Progress With Athlete Monitoring Solution
Lumin Sports Technology has developed a platform (ARC) that combines different sources of athlete data in a sports team, then pieces them together to give coaches and team managers a much better picture of their athletes’ performance. Apart from quantitative data such as GPS or Heart rate or motion sensors, they also collect qualitative data such as the athletes’ subjective wellness and additional medical data. Athletes can use a companion app called Phila to report about their own wellness including things like sleep quality, or if they have any mild or serious injury. The self reporting data is synced onto the platform and allows coaches to make quick decisions about training. On top of that, a unique strength of Lumin is their ability to work with a team’s existing data sources, and identify gaps for improvement rather than rebuilding from scratch. Currently, their platform has 2 variants – one for endurance sports (like Cycling) and another for field sports (like Australian rules football). With recent funding from the Australian government and from investors, Lumin is positioned to continue their growth within and beyond Australia. Read more in their interview with Bullpen: “Lumin Sports Aims to Give Teams a Greater Picture of Athlete Wellness and Fitness” or check out their story on sky news:
And that is our top five sports tech news for June 2019. If you would like more information about any of the above, feel free to contact us or leave a comment below. If you like what you read, do subscribe to our blog/newsletter here: link. With that, thanks for reading!