Innovation in sports has gained a lot of precedence in recent years. With every successive season or edition of a major sporting event, the organizers are bringing in innovative technologies on board to make the sports experience better for the audience.
This has resulted in a significant increase in viewership. In 2019 alone, around 154.4 million individuals in the United States viewed live sports content at least once a month. This is expected to grow to 160.3 million by 2024.
But audience engagement is not the only thing that has transformed sports. Technology is also helping make sports fairer by using video referring to make accurate decisions. With video analysis in sport, the chances of human errors are minimized to give better decisions. Innovation is also enhancing safety measures to prevent injuries.
Here are 5 Technology innovations that have revolutionized sports
Wearable devices like smartwatches and fiber-equipped clothes help to track a player’s vital health parameters. Gadgets like smart-watches are equipped with sensors that help to keep track of training sessions, calories burnt, and other attributes. The data from these devices can be analyzed which helps coaches to work on improving the performance of athletes. This has also helped to reduce the incidence of heart attacks, dehydration, and trauma.
2) Video Referring
Giving the right decision is crucial for effective sports play. While human referring is prone to errors and has even been a cause of friction between teams, the advancement in video technologies has helped to deal with this. Every moment of the game is tracked using multiple sensors and cameras that equips referees with better decision-making capabilities.
Video technology has helped to reduce the criticism of match referees from players and audiences which ultimately improves the credibility of sports federations. In some sports like cricket, reviews are also available for players to challenge a referee’s decision. This has enhanced the thrill of the game!
3) Hawk-Eye Technology
This technology uses multiple cameras to give a birds-eye view of a sporting event. You must have seen this view while watching live sporting events. It helps to track every object and player on the field which truly enhances the whole sports experience. Use of Hawk-Eye technology is most prevalent in cricket, football, tennis, and volleyball.
Often these are also used with animated technologies to show statistics and important information about the gameplay.
4) Prosthetic Devices
Gone are the days when a severe injury meant the sporting career of an athlete would be compromised. Advancements in prosthetic technology are helping players with disabilities and injuries to get back on the field.
Motion sensing technology is used to track the movements of players and then a comprehensive motion study is carried out to create a specialized prosthetic limb or part that moves with the player’s body, allowing them to get back to training and on-field events.
5) HANS Devices
Motorized sports have seen severe injuries, many of which have resulted in fatalities. Safety devices like the HANS (Head and Neck Support) devices are helping to reduce the possibility of head and neck injuries. HANS devices are made from high-end carbon fiber reinforced polymer materials that are used to support the sensitive head and neck region which minimizes the impact of a crash. In the last decade, the use of HANS devices has become mandatory by most sporting federations, thereby reducing the number of fatalities.