The Effects of IoT on Sports
When we talk about the Internet of Things, we usually mean the smart TV that records our favorite shows, or the fridge that tells us what we need to buy when we’re coming home from work. It is much more than that. You may be surprised, but IoT has applications in the world of sports as well. It is already being used by many major sports clubs and here are three areas improved greatly by this tech.
There are plenty of contact sports out there with accidents that could in a matter of seconds end an athlete’s career. The way IoT keeps players safe is that it keeps track of a player’s health, as well as the potential for damage in certain situations. Smart helmets, for example, allow us to know whether a hit has been strong enough to cause any permanent damage and facilitates making decisions about whether to pull the player in question out of the game.
It’s not just football that benefits from this. Soccer, basketball, and other sports require their athletes to be in top physical condition at all times. That’s why sensors in their uniforms or training accessories inform them of their heart rate, breathing, and other relevant information. It allows the clubs to take better care of their members.
Athletes benefit greatly from the information about their last training session. It shows them their progress, compares them to their old scores and those of other players, and lets them know how they fare altogether. Machines can now recommend training programs on the fly, deciding whether the player needs a session for recovery, improved performance, or routine maintenance.
It is not just the strength and speed that are being monitored and improved – it is the technique as well. IoT can supply the athletes the information they need about their kicks, throws, and acrobatics performed, which gives them a chance to improve on certain areas. Previously, it all depended on the coaches and their ability to relay that information to their protégés.
How many times has it happened that you yelled at your TV set for a call that a referee made that was, clearly, a bad one? IoT minimizes the chance of human error and corruption influencing the game in a negative way.
In soccer and some other sports, there’s the video assistant referee, or VAR, that tells the referees whether an action was illegal, whether there was a foul, and so on. In tennis, the Hawk-Eye system is a great tool for validating or disproving challenges made by the players to the umpire’s calls. This tech is still in development, but it is already being used in official matches.