Technology is increasingly becoming an essential part of sports and the growth of sports activities is opening possibility for technology integration. Many technologies designed for individual training, professional sports and the fan experience have been developed. Here are 10 latest SportsTech trends to watch out for this year 2017:
1) Rise of Wearable Tech
Wearable tech will become more popular in 2017. Apple Watches, Fitbits, and other wearables are becoming an ever-present sight in almost all sports events. According to Mounir Zok, a director of technology and innovation for the U.S. Olympic Committee, wearable tech was a key part of USA’s success at last Olympic Games—the country won 121 medals at Rio 2016. The future of wearable technology is not on our wrist. This year, expect to see many invisible, built-in techs.
2) Emergence of Smart Arenas
While it’s amazing to watch your favourite team live action with many like-minded fans, nowadays fans stream into stadiums with their smartphones. With some arenas having free Wi-Fi connections, sporting sites are changing the live in-game experience with new services such as access to instant video replays, ordering food and beverages, location-based advice for available parking, and the quickest route home after the game.
3) More sports start-ups to be founded
A number of sports start-ups are expected to enter the market. These days many people are taking to sport as exercise or as a future profession. According to Devinder Singh Bhusari who launched tennis firm Shaishya Edu & Sports few years shortly after leaving his job with Indian Oil Corporation, the future is very bright for sports start-ups.
4) Increase of VR application
VR has been making waves mainly in gaming and home entertainment. This technology is making movements into the sports world and is expected to become more present and more diverse in 2017. Deals between the NFL, the NBA and VR firms have already been struck, with the latter already showing one VR game per week.
5) Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is evolving into services and products as a coaching platform, developing from its earlier uses as information provider or assistant. Last year, Under Armour partnered with IBM Watson to make the “Internet of Athletes,” an artificial intelligence computing system that trains users through their Under Armour record app.
6) The connected player
Players of all kinds are facing a future in which tech will increasingly monitor all their moves. This will have a big impact on how these players live, practice, prepare, interact with fans and management, and perform. Increasing data will be generated and analysed to offer useful insights: from nutritional consumption and sleeping pattern to breathing, heart rate and pace while participating.
7) Connected data
At the centre of the digital sports world, there is data. More data is generated in sports every day than ever before. The data is required to flow freely and be stored, analysed, and served up for consumption by media, management, fans, and the athletes themselves. The winning teams of the future will be those with access to valuable data.
8) Fan engagement becomes deeper
Technology is already bringing fans closer to sport, but there are still opportunities. Social media is playing a very important role in this, with numerous organizations – such as NBA, NASCAR, and MLB- partnering with YouTube. Technology is also giving fans a direct line of communication with the players themselves. In the future, we expect to see the technology transforming the way sports are experienced.
9) Injury prevention Technology
As contract costs and salaries continue to rise in professional sports, team owners and administrators are eagerly finding out ways to keep their players in top performance and healthy condition. One of the sports trends in 2017 will be using technology to help prevent injuries. Companies such as Kinduct Technologies, CoachMePlus and Kitman Labs deliver results by collecting data, focusing on in-depth assessments of each player, and optimizing workout plans.
10) Use of Sports mobile apps
Mobile apps are significantly transforming the entire sporting domain. The days of watching video home system (VHS) tapes for analysing plays and providing feedback has now been replaced with mobile apps that can list out many stats of different teams, strengths as well as handicaps and also real time updates.