Over the past several years, the wireless instrumentation area has been democratizing to new application fields. This development is driven by many technological evolutions, like the monitoring of people physiological parameters through wireless sensor networks and the developments around the human body (BAN for Body Area Networks). Mainly oriented to the medical field and the improvement of patient’s life condition, data collection with wireless systems data collection is expanding to new fields. We can see nowadays the use of that kind of systems in the amateur sport field with the quantified self phenomena, but also in the professional field.
More and more sport disciplines rely on connected technologies to follow the performance: Hawk-eye technology is democratizing in soccer with his goal-line technology camera detection, Babolat connected tennis racket which collect data on types and number of strokes, strides measure decrypted on the high level trail runner Kilian Jornet. More recently on the Tour de France, wireless sensors provided by HIKOB have been settled under the bike seat. They provide real-time information on the cyclists speed, their exact location during the race compared to the other cyclists and the distance between them. This data powers the broadcasting of an enriched content throughout the live coverage of the sport event.
We can distinguish two types of systems in sports: non-intrusive systems, which do not require setting up of devices on an athlete and/or its equipment, and intrusive or embedded systems, where the athlete can be equipped by sensors (biometrical sensors) or elements of its equipment. Non-intrusive systems are generally based on video systems composed of one or several cameras and image processing software. Intrusive systems are in line with the current connected objects trend and are based on wearable or embedded sensors communicating with an networking infrastructure.
High-level sports always used statistics but the last innovations create a real revolution in this field. The use and deployment of wireless data communications in the consumers arena create a brand new user experience. This kind of data is paving the way to a new user experience by really immersing people in the core of the event. This influx of data is also very useful to high-level athletes and teams. Most of them have now on a “data specialist” part of the staff and responsible for the analysis of the collected data and statistics in the order to improve their performance.
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