Today, technology has become more ingratiated in every aspect of our lives. In the sports industry, technological advancements have come as a heaven-sent blessing. It has allowed fans to consume vast amounts of the sports they love in real-time through inventive ways. Additionally, we have experienced huge leaps in performance thanks to the technology used during training or competition.
Even though every new technology has created significant changes in the sporting arena, what are some of the technologies that will have a more profound impact on the industry in 2019 and beyond?
Social media live streaming
As a sports enthusiast, you always experience an itch to be in the loop with the happenings in your favourite sport. Unlike in the past, when you had to rely on mainstream media to get sports updates and amplify this itch, social media will today sort you out in seconds.
Here is the juicy part – apart from giving you updates and allowing you to engage in candid discussions about a particular sport with like-minded individuals, social media channels have joined the bandwagon of broadcasting sporting events.
In 2016, Twitter secured broadcasting rights to stream NFL games live. Since then, other social media sites have followed suit.
As a sports lover, this should come as good news. Instead of paying a premium to enjoy the games you love. All you will be required to do is go to social media, get real-time news, enjoy live coverage and in-play discussion, and engage in the analysis of a match – without paying a cent!
If you are a Kentucky Derby aficionado, you can enjoy free horse race streaming as you check minute-to-minute odds on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Wearable tech is not a new term to you if you have come across wristbands and smartwatches that allow you to keep track of the progress of your workout. Nonetheless, this technology stretches beyond what we know and what we see in commercials. It has a massive impact on different aspects of the sports industry, including safety, analysis, and performance.
Under Armour’s E39 shirt is one example of a wearable technology that will take the sporting industry to a whole new level. This shirt works as a virtual coach, by tracking the movement of joints during exercise, collecting data, and providing live feedback on heart rate, metabolism, and lung capacity.
Heddoko’s smart compression trousers and shirts also work in a similar fashion and give real-time information on how an athlete can avoid muscle injury.
Wearable technology will not only go a long way in enhancing performance, but it will also be life-saving because it will lead to a significant drop in sport-related injuries.
Drug Testing Technology
We cannot give credit to a specific technology that has made it possible for organisations such as the World Anti Doping Agency to curb the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports. Thanks to a collection of technologies, the once endemic practice have now been put to rest.
Technology has, therefore, gone a long way in levelling the playing field in all sports, and have helped wipe out the most notable drug cheats in the globe such as Dyane Chambers and Lance Armstrong.
Today, most sports have adopted the use of video refereeing and in-game video analysis, which has ensured that decisions are made swiftly and accurately, thus increasing the fairness in every competition.
Notable sports that have embraced this technology include the NCAAF college games and the NFL, tennis, and rugby. Soccer, which enjoys a massive fan base across the globe, has also boarded the ship and has continued to leap heavily from the Video Assistant Referee. The technology took centre stage during the 2018 world cup in Russia and is now used in Champions League and the England Premier League.
Even though critics argue that video refereeing has taken a huge chunk of fun out of the sport, we cannot ignore the fact that it has made the industry fairer and has prompted players to follow the rules of the game or get caught and face the consequences.
Data Analytics is another technology that has taken the sports industry by a storm. It allows athletes and teams to analyse millions of data points, and take note of the smallest successes or failures and make adjustments where necessary.
With data analytics, coaches and other technical experts are able to individually study every element of an athlete’s performance, identify where improvements can be made, and determine what can be done to boost an athlete’s performance.
It has been reported that it is this technology that increased the performance of the British Olympic team during the last three Olympics.
There are far more than five technologies that have changed the world of sports, including ingestible thermometer pills, GPS golf balls, prosthetic devices for disabled athletes, e-Ticketing, HANs device in motorsports, hawk-eye technology, and many more.
All these technologies have created a win-win situation among all players in the sports sector, since they have not only enhanced the performance of sportspeople and their coaches, but have allowed fans to enjoy a better viewing experience, get tickets at the comfort of their homes, and understand games better.
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