Tag Archives: Sports

Vert Brings Athletic Tracking to a New Level



Vert LogoIn the world of professional athletics, stats are everything. Not just the typical stats that fans might see like hits or points scored. But in-depth numbers about things like pitch counts and jump heights. Traditionally, this kind of information was difficult to obtain. But technology company Vert is working to change that.

Nick met with Martin Matak, the founder and president of Vert. Martin’s company has designed a small, wearable chip that tracks all kind of athletic data. The Vert platform can record pitch counts, play intensity, and more. Vert also tracks “effort,” taking into account how much a player has done in a specific amount of time. The Vert clip can be worn with an integrated belt designed specifically for Vert or the clip can be incorporated into a player’s existing uniform/clothing. Vert clips are currently on the market for $125 and they work with a mobile app that can be downloaded for free.

Nick DiMeo is an audio engineer and show host at F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Blast Motion Captures Baseball Swing



Motion by BlastHere at CES, there’s been all kinds of sporting sensors and motion trackers from tennis rackets to golf clubs. The Easton Power Sensor with Motion by Blast brings the same kind of technology to baseball bats. Jamie and Daniel take a swing with Donavan Prostrollo, Senior Director of Marketing at Blast.

On show here is the Easton Power Sensor which attaches to the base of a baseball bat. Unlike the sensors in some other sporting goods, it can be switched between bats. The Motion by Blast software then synchronises video of the player with the telemetry from the sensor to show exactly what’s happening when the player takes a swing. The data is sent via Bluetooth to a nearby smartphone or tablet and the software automatically identifies the swings and clips the video to create a series of video highlights, overlaid with metrics such as swing speed, time to contact, swing direction, power, efficiency, etc.

At US$149, the Easton Power Sensor is not an impulse purchase but it is very affordable for a baseball team or serious player. Available now both online and at good sports shops.

Jamie Davis is the host of Health Tech Weekly at HTWeekly.com. He is a nurse, paramedic and health journalist.
Daniel J Lewis dares you to get started in podcasting with The Audacity to Podcast.

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BRG and 360fly Unveil Video-Integrated Smart Helmets at CES



smart helmetSo-called smart technology is entering every area of our lives. So much so, “smart” toasters and “connected” refrigerators have become punchlines to many a modern joke. And while notions of highly technical kitchen appliances do seem kinda silly, there are some areas where adding modern technology can yield some real benefits. BRG Sports and 360fly are bringing those benefits to cyclists with their new line of “smart helmets.”

These helmets feature an integrated 360fly 360-degree 4K camera, also capable of shooting conventional 16×9 video. The video capabilities are driven by 360fly’s proprietary mobile app, featuring a simple user interface that allows users to instantly edit and share content to popular platforms like Facebook or YouTube. Shooting at 2880 x 2880 at up to 30 FPS, the integrated camera also includes a built-in GPS sensor to tag locations, a barometer/altimeter and accelerometer all powered by an advanced Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. The integrated camera comes standard with Bluetooth, built-in Wi-Fi and has up to two hours of battery life. The camera is also detachable, allowing it to be utilized independent of the helmet by users in a wide variety of lifestyle applications

Helmets also include these features:

  • AutoPilot action tracking – Allows users to track and follow the main subjects in their videos, making it easy to create dynamic edits with the rider at the center of it all.
  • Collision Avoidance Alert – Senses and automatically notifies the rider of potential oncoming dangers that are outside the rider’s natural field of vision.
  • Live Streaming – For professional, commercial or advanced users looking to live stream 360-degree video, the integrated camera pairs with its Micro-HDMI accessory base (sold separately) and is able to output a real-time full 360-degree HD video stream.

These smart helmets are still undergoing product testing and are expected to be on the market later this year.


MLB Manager Chided for wearing Apple Watch



MLB logoThe use of “assistive devices” is nothing new to Major League Baseball. For decades, pitchers have snuck things like sandpaper or razor blades onto the field to alter the way baseballs reacted to different kinds of pitches. Major League officials have cracked down on these shenanigans over the years, and for the most part, they’re a thing of the past. But the drive to cheat the system will never die. And it’s in this spirit that Major League Baseball banned players and coaches from using smartphones in dugouts during games. But smart technology is moving beyond phones and into wearables, creating a new potential for team members to access data that might give them an unfair advantage during games.

This led to a reported questioning of Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost, who’s been wearing an Apple Watch in the dugout during games. MLB officials wanted to make sure Yost wasn’t using the electronic device to somehow gather information on opposing teams during games. But in the end, it was determined that Yost wasn’t actively pairing his Apple Watch with an iPhone, meaning the watch was pretty much just… a watch. Aside from being able to tell time, Yost could also get basic weather information thru the unpaired device. That’s it.

Overall, this incident was really just a friendly reminder to Yost (and all other MLB players and coaches) that they can use wearables like the Apple Watch during games. They just can’t let those devices communicate with the rest of the connected world. Professional baseball sure has come a long way from the spit ball and the corked bat!


Polar Team Pro Brings Advanced Coaching System to Elite Sports Teams



Polar logoPolar is an established manufacturer of monitoring products used by professional teams across a wide range of sports. Now the company is entering a whole new product category with the release of its new Polar Team Pro.

Polar Team Pro is a comprehensive system that begins with tracking devices players can wear while on the field. These devices use GPS data to send real-time information about the player’s location on the field, with near-field communications options to fill in coverage gaps. Those player-based sensors transmit data back to a base station that then syncs up with an iPad app that gives coaches a complete view of what the team is doing during a game.

Polar Team Pro would be an invaluable tool for any team that’s looking to enhance, improve, and maximize player movements on the field. The information gathered by the system will allow coaching staffs to analyze plays and see where their teams’ weak points are, and where things should be adjusted for greater future performance.

The Polar Team Pro set begins with 10 sensors, 10 straps, 1 dock, 1 washing pouch, and 1 shoulder bag. The system can be scaled up for a total of 60 sensors, as needed. Pricing starts at 5999 EUR and goes up from there. If you’re interested in using the Polar Team Pro with your own sports organization, get in touch with Polar for more information.


Don’t Delete that NBC Olympics App Yet…More Live Sports are Coming



NBC Sports Live Extra

I recently switched phones from a Motorola Android device to a brand new Samsung one and one of the apps I didn’t bother re-installing was the NBC Olympics.  After all, the games are over for another four years…or two depending on how you want to count it.  Now it looks as though I may want to revive that app because NBC has announced that it’s not dead and will be re-branded as NBC Sports Live Extra.

This update has now taken place on both the Android and iOS versions of the app.   The new content that will be streaming live through the app will come from events covered on NBC, NBCSports Network and the Golf Channel.  Before you get too excited, the app will still require users to authenticate, meaning they must prove they subscribe to a cable or satellite package that provides these channels.

It’s both good and bad news for users.  The app isn’t useless and, in fact, will be far from it, but these services are eventually going to have to learn to break away from the traditional models, which are proving every day to be more broken.  Perhaps NBC would be better served by charging a nominal monthly fee for use of the app rather than being beholden to the traditional home providers.  There’s little doubt that will eventually happen, but we aren’t there yet.

 


Fitness Technologies Waterproof Video Solutions



This year Fitness Technologies has introduced a new line of waterproof video cameras designed for rugged outdoor use.  The first is a helmet-mountable camera that is perfect for a sport like mountain biking.  There is also a mini camera that fits into a waterproof case, as well as one that is actually built with a waterproof housing.  The latter two are made with scuba divers in mind and they are small enough to mount on something like a wrist strap.  The cameras retail for $200 to $250 and are available now.

You can see all three cameras in the video below, plus you can get a look at a pair of tiny waterproof MP3 player and a new line of diving flashlights.  You can find more about these and other products by visiting Fitness Tech USA.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.

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