Welcome to the August edition of Top 5 Sports Tech News. Here in Melbourne, August was pretty eventful in terms of sports technology. More specifically, there was a sports technology week which included events like a sports tech hackathon, a sports technology innovation and investment masterclass, training workshops with Catapult and Vald Performance, a startup day, and finally the sports tech conference where experts in the industry shared some of their insights. Of course, while all that is happening, there has also been a number of interesting sports tech product releases and announcements. We see sensors packed into really small enclosures that measures lot of data and provides feedback in real-time. We also have products that help with recovery in different ways. Without further ado, let’s have a look at what they are.
Stryd Running Power Meter Now Measures Wind
Running power meters are still a relatively new thing and honestly it’s not easy to fully understand how they work. But essentially, they are little units with different sensors plus microprocessors that are strapped onto a runner’s shoe/s; they measure acceleration data in 3 axis, work out the resultant forces, energy, power, plus a bunch of running metrics (e.g. cadence, stride length etc). Stryd is one of the handful of running power meters in the market that does all that and recently, they have added wind measurement on top of all those capabilities. Why is there a need to measure wind? According to this article, the power required when running is equivalent to the power required to overcome 3 sources of resistance: running resistance, climbing resistance (or slope) and wind resistance. So being able to measure wind means being more precise with power measurement. You can read more in their release here: Announcing the new Stryd. Use the wind to your advantage or check out their video below:
Kookaburra & SportCor Develops Smart Cricket Ball
Kookaburra Sport, a company that has a long history of manufacturing cricket equipment, has partnered with SportCor (Jetson Industries), and developed a Smart Cricket Ball. The “smartness” comes from sensors embedded within the ball that measures the speed and rotation speeds when bowled and spits out that information in real-time. The biggest challenge of making the Smart Ball is not just making the sensors small enough to fit the cricket ball but also to ensure that the weight and feel of the final product is similar to a regular cricket ball. A big goal for this Smart Ball is to have it fully tested and hopefully be used in a proper test match within the next year. You can read more about the story here: Microchipped cricket ball may soon help umpires in Big Bash League or check out their video below:
[Related post: A look at smart balls]
Form Displays Real-Time Swim Metrics In Goggles
Real-time swim metrics in a pool is pretty much a norm now that many smart or sports watches can count strokes and laps. But Form has taken that a notch higher by making swim goggles with a smart display that shows those swim metrics. That means a swimmer can properly focus on swimming and not even have to look at their wrist watch. I believe the unit that is at the side contains sensors and electronics that tracks motion and processes the data to give the various metrics. But unlike Instabeat that we featured a few months back, Form doesn’t track heart rate. Which then makes sense that they partnered with Polar to do an integration and be able to display heart rate data. You can read more about how it works in DCRainmakers detailed review of the goggles: Hands-on: FORM Swim Goggles with Smart Display or check out Form’s video below:
Vald Performance Introduces the ForceFrame
Vald Performance is a sports technology company based in Queensland that is known for their athlete testing systems. Their first product was the Nordbord – a device that did hamstring testing. This was followed by the GroinBar that was made for hip strength testing. Then from users who used the GroinBar, they gathered various feedback and found the need for a more versatile system to test other movements and muscle groups. So the GroinBar evolved to become ForceFrame. Apparently, there’s no change in terms of hardware. The main changes are in the software or app that manages more than 30 upper and lower limb strength and imbalance tests. Besides testing, they have added a training mode feature that allows sports science professionals to run personalised isometric training with athletes and collect useful biofeedback. Check out their video to see it in action:
Introducing: CAPE Bionics Sleeve
CAPE Bionics has developed the most advanced custom fitted compression sleeves for elite athletes. Dr James Waldie, the co-founder of CAPE (which is an acronym for Custom Athletic Performance Enhancement) has had 20 years of experience in compression R&D including researching and designing spacesuits for astronauts that mimic gravity and reduce the negative effects of being in space. He then took this expertise and applied it to recovery in elite sports. With input from leading sports scientists and validation through independent university testing, CAPE developed proprietary compression regimes and wearing protocols to target improvements in game performance, post-game recovery, travel and rehabilitation.
The compression sleeves have also been accreditted as a Class 1 Medical Device which means they adhere to strict regulation standards set out by Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Currently, their core product is the calf sleeve but they also make arm sleeves and planning to release leggings and a full suit. Their main market is in professional sports teams and being in Australia have started off with a handful of sports teams in AFL and Rugby Union. You can read more on their blog: Introducing CAPE: Proven by astronauts, now available to elite athletes.
And that is our top five sports tech news for August 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, please do us a favour and share it around or subscribe to our blog/newsletter here: link. With that, thanks for checking us out!