Wearable Sports Technology: Optimizing Performance & Safety

Published By

Two tenths of a second: that’s how much faster NBA MVP Steph Curry’s three-point shot is compared to the average player in the league. In professional sports, such fractions of a second are what separate winners from losers, champions from runner-ups and stars from deep bench players.

Now Curry’s NBA champion Golden State Warriors are turning to advanced sensor technology to measure, analyze and optimize athlete performance, allowing the team to find opportunities to gain small but critical edges.

The Warriors are part of a larger trend of professional sports teams using sensor-based tools for a range of tasks, including avoiding injuries and evaluating equipment.

Wearable Technology for Athletes

The NBA champs are utilizing the ViPerform platform from an Australian medical device firm called dorsaVi Ltd. ViPerform consists of a set of wearable sensors that record and analyze athletes’ movements and muscle activity. Combined with high-definition video, the sensors measure a variety of events, including range of motion, acceleration and force. The results are then delivered in the form of an easy-to-understand report.

As an example of the kind of biomechanical information gathered, ViPerform can analyze how well an athlete runs, examining activities such as jogging, sprinting, acceleration and deceleration and long-distance running. For these actions, the system then measures a variety of parameters, ranging from straightforward metrics like speed, time and distance, to sophisticated factors including leg symmetry, average ground contact time and average ground reaction force.

Wearable Technology in Professional Sports

To get a complete picture of athletic performance, ViPerform employs two types of sensors—one detecting movement and the other measuring muscle activity. The movement sensors include accelerometers, magnetometers and gyroscopes. The muscle sensors use adhesive electrodes that measure the activity of muscles near the surface of the skin.

The Golden State Warriors aren’t alone in adopting the ViPerform solution; teams including the NBA’s Houston Rockets and the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns also are employing the technology.

The kind of measurements and biofeedback information ViPerform delivers not only can boost performance, but also can help avoid injuries. ViPerform is part of a new generation of sensor-based solutions designed to deliver improvements on both of these fronts. Many of these technologies are being employed in professional or high-level college sports, but are migrating to the consumer market.

Football Helmet Sensors

On the injury front, the UCLA football program is testing helmets equipped with sensors that measure impacts to the head. The program is designed to improve the understanding of when and where such impacts occur in order to mitigate trauma.

In terms of performance, PIQ is offering a sensor that works in multiple sports and collects data on more than 3,000 different data points per second, across 13 different dimensions. The PIQ sensor tracks and reports performance in real time. PIQ is targeting this device at amateur players.

Whether you are a top athlete like Steph Curry, or an everyday golfer, sensors can play a central role in improving your performance and avoiding injury.

Related news articles

Latest News

Sorry, your filter selection returned no results.

We've updated our privacy policy. Please take a moment to review these changes. By clicking I Agree to Arrow Electronics Terms Of Use  and have read and understand the Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Our website places cookies on your device to improve your experience and to improve our site. Read more about the cookies we use and how to disable them here. Cookies and tracking technologies may be used for marketing purposes.
By clicking “Accept”, you are consenting to placement of cookies on your device and to our use of tracking technologies. Click “Read More” below for more information and instructions on how to disable cookies and tracking technologies. While acceptance of cookies and tracking technologies is voluntary, disabling them may result in the website not working properly, and certain advertisements may be less relevant to you.
We respect your privacy. Read our privacy policy here