Super Bowl wearables and other hot sports tech: Holo table, Reebok and more

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The Super Bowl is known for groundbreaking commercials, but the tech involved with such a large scale event is also impressive and is certain to influence the entire sports industry. Here we take a look at the latest tech developments in sports, from interactive fan apps to wearables that track an athlete’s every movement in real time.

Super Bowl 50 will kickoff at 6:30 PM ET on February 7, 2016 at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA.

To football fans, the ability to stream the game on mobile devices or check live updates using an app is already a huge step from just watching the game on TV or listening to the radio. But thanks to technology, watching and participating in the game could become even better in the next few years.

Interactive display

HoloLensMicrosoft Corp. revealed a concept product showing how its virtual reality goggles, the HoloLens, could be utilized to make watching the game a more immersive experience.

The video demonstrated how one’s coffee table can serve as the football field, or extend the TV screen to an entire wall. A few gestures can bring up stats, allow viewers to watch the game from a different angle, or even make it appear as though a football player is bursting through the wall.

Wearable tech

A new report from Gartner, Inc. predicts that 274.6 million wearable electronic devices will be sold worldwide in 2016, an increase of 18.4 percent from 232.0 million units in 2015. Sales of wearable electronic devices will generate revenue of $28.7 billion in 2016, with $11.5 billion coming from smartwatches.

photo courtesy of Reebok

photo courtesy of Reebok

Players could greatly benefit from wearable tech such as Reebok’s Checklight, a high-tech skullcap that measures how hard the player has hit his head.

The intensity of an impact is easily viewed via lights on the device. If a yellow light blinks, the impact of the collision is near a pre-programmed threshold.  If it blinks red, the collision surpassed the said threshold, meaning the athlete should be further assessed.  

Aside from assessing the force of impact, Checklight also tallies the number of impacts sustained by the athlete over time.

UA_HealthBoxAnother wearable device that can greatly benefit football players is Under Armour, Inc.’ HealthBox.

The HealthBox is a complete fitness tracking solution that includes the UA Scale, which tracks body weight, body fat percentage and progress toward a weight goal; the UA Band, which measures sleep, resting heart rate, steps and intensity of workout; the UA Heart Rate, which is a chest strap that tracks heart rate as the user works out; and UA Record, a mobile app that collects all the data from the three devices and allows users to see progress, set goals, log workouts, measure activities and more.

Data gathered by these wearable devices can give insight as to which players needs to be benched, needs medical attention, or who should be placed on the field.

Real-time tracking

In the latter part of 2015, the National Football League announced that all its players will be equipped with tracking technology in the form of radio frequency identification (RFID) embedded in their shoulder pads. The trackers, provided by Zebra Technologies Corp., provide real-time statistics for every movement of every player on every inch of the field. This will help coaches determine how each player can improve their game.

Action camera

GoPro HeroWant to see what players see during the game? That may soon be possible if the NFL adopts a similar approach as the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA), which strapped their players’ helmets with GoPro action cameras.

Though it can be a bit dizzying to watch these point-of-view shots, especially in contact sports, imagine how many fans would be drawn in to try it out? Imagine being able to see what your favorite player is seeing on your mobile device, in HD!

Live streaming and TV deals

Interested in live streaming the big game on your mobile device, gaming console or set top box like Apple TV? Get some tips here. Also, if you’re in need of a new big screen for the championship broadcast, check out some of the best deals here.

SourceSuper Bowl Wearables and What’s Next by Ross Mason, founder, MuleSoft 

Photo by FirmBee (Pixabay)