3 MIN. READ
Our beloved football season is in full swing.
Regardless of the team you root for or the level of your fandom, we can all agree that the love of the game and atmosphere surrounding it keeps us coming back for more. For those who are captivated by both technology and football, these two passions are increasingly becoming more intermingled.
Through the power of data collection, analytics, and innovation – the game of pigskin is being enhanced in countless ways. From injury prevention to performance enhancing strategies, timely access to relevant information, and play call accuracy – advancements in technology are moving the game forward for everyone from players, to fans, to referees.
Most critically, technology is gathering the data researchers need to reduce the severity of head injuries. For example, when a football player takes a hit, sensors can measure its velocity, location, direction, and severity. Handheld devices alert coaches when the response system detects a hit that exceeds the safe range.
The University of Texas at Austin and many other football programs, both college and pro, already employ response systems to track players during both practices and games. Coaches and trainers use the information gleaned from the devices to help prevent concussions and lessen the impact of accumulated head trauma.
Further, researchers at Davidson College analyzed 20,000 response system data points and discovered that more severe head injuries occurred when players grew tired. When fatigued, players tend to drop their heads, which exposes the crown of the head to severe impacts and endangers the neck and spine. Coaches can use this vital information to change up individual’s workouts or substitute players in the lineup to prevent injuries.
Additionally, sensory mouthguards and adhesive wearables provide key data that increases player safety. The triple threat of data, researchers, and innovative devices can drastically help pave the way for injury prevention strategies.
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Enhancing athletic performance
Athletes can raise their game using technical tools that demonstrate where improvements are needed. For example, tiny GPS devices, accelerometers and other data collection equipment can be embed in jerseys, shoes, helmets or other athletic equipment. These trackers provide many data points, such as distances run, heart rate, and jump height.
The data helps coaches and athletes detect signs of fatigue, overtraining, and even dehydration. The tech can monitor the players’ health status using data on respiratory rhythms, neurological activity, and sleep quality. High-speed cameras record movement in granular detail, allowing for in-depth reviews of individual and team performance.
Football programs and individual athletes can use these tools to develop more effective training programs, improve biomechanics, and recognize early signs of injury.
Enriching the fan experience
Don’t worry, technology hasn’t left out the ever-important fans. In fact, there’s more opportunities for fans to actively participate and interact in the game now more than ever. Online forums, fantasy sports, and online leaderboards provide the live statistics and data analytics that fans crave.
Playbacks allow fans to watch critical moments in a game at any time. In addition, fans can stream games, use convenient digital ticketing processes, and earn loyalty points from a variety of apps. Data visualization tools allow statistically oriented fans to dive deep into the record books and enhance their handicapping skills. As fan engagement increases, the sense of community and viewer experience brings more excitement and fulfillment.
Helping referees get it right
Football fans know the agony of a bad call that costs their team the game. The sting of a bad call can be relived for generations. Before instant replay, knowing whether the ref had made the right call often bordered on impossible. But even with instant replay, controversial calls abound.
Thankfully, referees now have the advantage of new technologies to help them make the right call under the pressure of a fast-paced game. For example, 360-degree cameras and goal-line monitors can put to bed many controversies.
With football season underway, it’s impressive to think about all the ways the game is improved with technology. From increasing fan engagement to bolstering player performance and safety – innovative apps, sensors, and equipment are helping football up its game.
Curious about how you can utilize innovative tech to enhance a sport, user experience, or even healthcare? Learn from a performance tracking sports app or about the power of using remote monitoring and sensors to enhance care. Or need help with your tech development, design, or strategy? Contact us.