As we continue to travel into the 21st century, the wonders of technology continue to advance at a staggering rate, bringing us all new ways to access information. As with anything else, these technological advancements have enabled us to explore all new ways of making sports a success for all athletes, from optimizing performance to improving upon safety on the field.
Now, an all new wearable monitoring systems are giving experts a firsthand look at what happens to an athlete’s body on the field.
Computers and other gadgets are becoming more and more powerful as we develop smarter technology that is ever faster and wider reaching. While the way we grasp information technology is growing, it is at the same time shrinking in physical size. This is evident with the smart phones and tablets that we use daily, with the newest models always somehow managing to be slimmer and more lightweight than the last. But the possible applications of tiny technology have the potential to really shed some light on athletics.
At a February showcase at MIT, representatives from the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS all gathered alongside the science and technology community to hear about the newest ways to gather information about athletes’ performance as well as health and safety on the field. Thanks to lightweight, wearable technology, we are able to get up close and personal with athletes while in play.
One company has developed sensor technology the size of a sticker - virtually unnoticeable when worn by athletes - that delivers a wealth of information to remote databases to be analyzed. For example, college and professional football organizations are gaining valuable insights into the kind of force and impact that cause concussions. But that’s not all these sticker-sensors are capable of.
Another application for these wearable computer sensors beside athlete safety is measuring peak athletic performance and power under various conditions. This information in particular lends itself to precision equipment design as it is able to determine the effectiveness of a particular shoe or helmet or pad in terms of how it affects how athlete plays while wearing it.
Wearable technology may hold the future of kinaesthetic studies, bringing us valuable information regarding in-play safety and performance. Who knows what else we might be able to learn from within a player’s helmet and other sports equipment?