We have seen many new industry trends based on rapid technological advances over the last few years. One of the trends the team at BWA has been following through 2015 has been wearable technologies and real- time alalytics. Over the last few years, leagues have really committed to being a part of the growing trend.
NBA has partnered with Sport VU. SVU is a high tech camera system, most commonly hung from above the court, that collects data. The unique twist to this cutting edge camera system is that it collects data at a rate of 25 times per second, simultaneously following the ball and every player on the court. Sport VU has been installing their system in all NBA arenas since 2013.
A front runner within the wearable side of technologies is Catapult. It has been a breakthrough company with major investors like Mark Cuban, and multinational brands Adidas, Reebok and Nike. This micro-sensor (essentially) is currently utilised by over 300 teams around the globe and it provides a more analytical perspective in “real-time”. When partnered with the visual assistance such as Sport VU. This allows sports scientists access to a full breakdown of the game, player performance, coordination and a series of algorithms quantifying player interactions generated by the raw data.
Another company to watch for is Cityzen., who develop smart sportswear such as the sensor-embedded “D-Shirt”. This phenomenal “Smart Sensing Technology” has been utilised during practice, and has proven to be one of the pioneering garments within this new wave of technology. This shirt contains textile embedded sensors measuring activity, heart rate respiration posture and more, truly living up to its reputation of being the “textile of the future”.
In 2016 we have a keen eye on whether this rapid data collecting and wearable's will translate smoothly from training purposes and move toward other subsidiaries of the industry that may benefit from this type of “real time” data.
Looking heavily at the stats for TV/sports coverage as well as more accurate data for the betting fans, it will surely be a matter of time before the correct deals and agreements are in place allowing extended outlets to capitalise on this new trend. The benefit from having these stats on hand every second of the game would surely foster more accurate predictions for betters and sports casters alike. Alternative media as well as sponsors may also make a bid for selective data collection that will enhance exposure and fan experience.
Usually, we watch new technologies utilised by a team or league to enhance productivity and conduct sports science studies first. Commonly after this phase, the trend will trickle down to sub categories within the industry. We are looking forward to watching the direction the sports and entertainment world will embrace this cutting edge technology readily available today.