Internet of Things in sport: opportunities of smart clothes and shoes22 November 2016
IoT technologies are gradually being implemented into sport: T-shirts measuring body temperature, and tennis wrist braces determining accuracy of serve in tennis. And self-lacing shoes can be seen not only in Back to the Future film but also on shop shelves.
Smart T-shirt instead of fitness tracker
Endeavour company has found out that one third of people, buying a fitness bracelet, stop using it in half a year. Thus, companies are trying to offer another alternative: athletic T-shirts and socks with sensors.
They should not necessarily be made of hi-tech fabrics. For instance, Sensoria company produces T-shirts of traditional materials, but adds built-in sensors into products.
Other manufacturers, for instance OMsignal, make T-shirts of smart textile, providing electronic signal. However, sensors are present here as well. An approximate price of the thing reaches $200. Such T-shirts charge via common charging device or special applications, providing sensors with energy.
The main thing preventing major distribution of smart clothes is high price. Although, Jonathan Gaw, expert of IDC Research, thinks that it can be reduced so much in the nearest years that smart clothes will become articles of general consumption.
Marty McFly’s sneakers
In 80s of the previous age, Marty McFly showed the world self-lacing shoes in Back to the Future film. Thirty years later, certain lucky ones finally could buy them. Nike company made such a gift for film fans, releasing the limited batch of Mag smart sneakers.
Manufacturers offer even more reasonable innovations. For instance, Bluetooth Lechal India-based company developed athlete shoes with the insole counting covered distance and burned calories. But the deal with sneakers somehow has gone sour, and currently, the company is selling only insoles cost $180. And they also require charging.
Xiaomi builds sensors in sneakers soles. And one can buy Xiaomi Smart Shoes with the special niche for tracker for approximately 5 thousand rubles.
One more manufacturer, joining the technology racing, is Puma. Recently, the company has presented Autodiscs sneakers that don’t require lacing: they take the shape of the athlete’s foot. The kit also includes a special charging mat.
Tennis gadgets for improving game technique
Manufacturers pay special attention to tennis. Babolat released POP Tennis Sensor wrist brace, collecting information on how a person operates with tennis racket. Sony chose another way and built sensors in the racket. Such gadgets can be bought in online shops and specialized tennis centers for 10-20 thousand rubles.
Such inventions help a coach to examine athlete’s technique and determine whether they bat correctly. It can be useful not only for professional tennis players but also for children’s coaches. Obtained information will help to reveal “weaknesses” and improve game technique.