Technology in Sports
The world of technology affects many aspects of our lives, and sports are no exception. Some of it is there to enhance the athlete’s performance, while the rest if used for entertainment purposes. Here are some of the most common pieces of tech that are now an integral part of the sports world.
Instant replay is not just for the screen in your living room anymore. With today’s cameras, participants can now call out the referee if they think they have made a bad call. It recently made its way into soccer but has been a part of tennis and cricket for a while.
Cameras (even those on your phone) can now record the athlete’s performance, allowing them to work on their mistakes while consulting the coaches. In fact, there are several mobile apps that show the angles, the body’s position, as well as the force with which the athlete kicks, strikes, or jumps.
During long races, especially if they are in the middle of nowhere, it is very easy for riders, racers, and drivers to get lost. The tracking chips now allow us, their team, and the broadcasting companies to know where the athletes are at all times, as well as whether they require medical attention. This nifty tool not only protects the riders, it also makes sure no unauthorized shortcuts are being taken.
You don’t have to order your tickets through the mail. Because of the internet, as well as smartphones, you can purchase the tickets online as soon as they are up for grabs. Furthermore, chances are that you don’t even have to print the thing. Simply take your phone to the big game, match, or race and scan it upon getting to the venue.
Full disclosure – I am a dinosaur. Back in the old days, if you were a big fan of a sports star, you would go to their events, scream their name, and maybe write them a letter telling them how awesome they are. If you wanted to know more about their personal life, you had to go through the interviews with sports magazines.
The social media has changed this forever. Twitter and Facebook allow soccer stars, basketball legends, and others to broadcast their thoughts to the world within seconds. In theory, it is even possible for them to interact with their fans one-on-one, should they choose to do so. I say ‘in theory’, because the number of sports fans keeps increasing, so it is easy for your posts of encouragement to get lost in the mail. Some things never change.
Pretty soon, though it is not exactly clear when, we will have the option of being in the field with our favorite athletes. “How can we do this without being escorted by the security?” you may ask. Virtual reality. The tech is still in development, but it would certainly be awesome to follow each individual player and then zoom out to get a better look at the terrain. It will make the game experience much more immersive.