September 24, 2014
New technologies applied to sport have evolved and made their way season after season. Smartphones, Smart Glasses, GPS, Apple Watch and all kinds of gadgets are just the beginning of the long list. Gone are the innovations in sports footwear and the athletes’ own clothing, or even the sports equipment itself. Currently, the sporting avant-garde shifts to technological devices and focuses on obtaining results of physical condition and health, recording statistics, as well as helping in the physical preparation of the athlete.
In a friendly football match of FC Barcelona, one of the bets in La Liga where Luis Enrique’s best numbers put the Barça team in the lead, the players themselves had built-in GPS equipment that allowed the technicians to carry out a strategic study of game. Or in tennis, the International Federation approved in 2013 the use of ‘smart equipment’ in official matches, and during the 2014 championships initiatives such as chips embedded in the handles of the rackets, GPS and camera systems such as the Hawkeye that develop databases and that help to understand patterns of play.
The Smart Glasses were a revolution. Google Glass, for example, has been used by many elite athletes. Roger Federer himself has already tried them, although not in competition, and Bethanie Mattek-Sands used them at last year’s Wimbledon edition. On the other hand, in football, Atlético de Madrid’s second coach, Mono Burgos, affirms that they are very useful for a coach since they allow him to watch the game and consult its statistics in real time (general, game construction , defense, completions) and technical details, among other uses.
The Recon Jet were born, however, as the sporty alternative to Google glasses, for runners and cyclists since they are usually much more specific. In them, athletes and runners can see all the necessary information about their route, about the stages or the races in a comfortable, easy and safe way. They have a sensor that detects nine axes of movement thanks to the accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer. They also have a barometer and altimeter, a room temperature sensor and an optical touch sensor so that it works in any condition, even with gloves. Incorporated also carries a GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a 720p camera, a microphone and a speaker.
In cycling the sensation of this year has been the device that Chris Froome had installed on his handlebar throughout the Vuelta a España. The Potentiometer or Powermeter was invented in 1986 and has now been perfected, going further than heart rate monitors. It can be connected to a central computer and send and receive data. Sky, a team for which Froome acts as a leader and in which one of the cycling bets has become as recounted in this text, has always been considered one of the pioneers in the technological vanguard. The runner obtained information throughout the entire Tour about altitude, speed, heart rate and the watts of each pedal stroke.
Nor can we forget the latest device from the Cupertino company, the Apple Watch, nor the great revolution of the century, smartphones, increasingly focused on sports and physical exercise. Apple has even developed its own applications such as the ‘Healthkit’ for its iPhones, which professionally record indices of health history and physical condition.
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