IoT and sports

IoT and sports

How digital technology enables peak athletic performances

The 2022 European Athletics Championships in Munich are still fresh in everyone's memory: an international sports festival, with many top and best performances, cheered by an expert audience. Athletes thrilled with top analog performances, which were made possible not least by intelligent digital support: Because in many sports, IoT-based technologies now ensure optimized analyses, training plans and results. The digital Internet of Things and sports: a dynamic combination ready for medals that guarantees lasting success and constant improvement. In this blog text, we give a small look at what is already possible in which discipline. And why digital technology can make all the difference in professional high-performance sports. 

 

Technology improves performance and protects health

In the pre-digital era, intuition and experience alone determined training and competition preparation in professional sports. Often, "tried and true" methods were used without knowing exactly whether they would produce the desired results for each person. In the meantime, the methods have changed almost radically. Professionals, amateurs, and recreational athletes are increasingly using new technologies to get the most out of their individual physical and mental abilities and gain a competitive advantage. 

Sensors and devices are worn close to the body - as wearables and performance tracking systems. They measure, collect and analyze personal and team-related data on fitness and technology, enabling valuable performance feedback. This not only leads to optimized training routines and, as a result, better competition results: The use of digital technology also helps athletes prevent injuries, manage stress and identify overloads. 

In professional cycling, sensors attached to athletes and bikes continuously measure classic data and environmental variables:

 

  • Speed

  • Cadence

  • Current power output of each rider

  • Wind speed

  • Wind direction

  • Gradient

  • Acceleration

  • Different body functions such as heart rate, etc.

 

The resulting analyses form the basis for optimizing and adapting processes, for the next race strategies and for individually tailored medical care. For example, at the Trek-Segafredo professional team, every doctor has global access to all medical information on all riders at all times. The data is stored in encrypted form in a private cloud in a data center, and the data transfer is also encrypted - guaranteeing maximum security.

 

Soccer and American Football: Big data as a success factor

The role of big data in modern professional sports is illustrated by the example of the Italian top soccer club Inter Milan. Lorenzo Antognoli, the IT director responsible for implementing the digital strategy, explained, "Football analytics is the process used to analyze the performance of our players, our teams and also our opponents from different points of view, i.e. technical, tactical, fitness-related, from a medical point of view, etc."

To achieve this goal, over 100 million GPS data points were collected and analyzed during training operations over two consecutive seasons, as well as 60 million player-related data points. A veritable treasure trove of in-depth insights: Based on this enormous variety of data, the specialists involved create dynamic reports that enable an analytical view of the team. The sporting results justify the technical effort: In the past three seasons, Inter Milan has won one championship title and two runner-up finishes in its domestic Serie A league. 

In American football, too, players are now equipped with powerful sensors. These continuously measure running behavior, jumps and performance changes during the course of a game and evaluate the data. In the sport's home country, the USA, the Californian RFID specialist Zebra is a partner of the US football league NFL and equips all players' jerseys and balls with RFID.

Receivers placed around the field collect and analyze player data: And not just all physical movements, but medical parameters such as heart rate, perspiration, breathing rate, etc. Based on this data, the team doctor always has exact information about the current fitness of each player - which not infrequently also leads to instructions to the coach about which player should be substituted and when.

 


veröffentlicht am : 2022-09-15 08:00


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