Recently, I have been having a lot of different conversations about the topic of wearable computers / computing. Clients, analysts and members of the media seem pretty keen on our perspective related to wearables since our client, adidas, showed off the miCoach Elite System at the MLS All-Star game at the end of July.
Touted as a “Smart game” (ESPN Link), the All-Star game gave a sneak peak to fans of what to expect next year as the system is scheduled to be fully adopted across the league – outfitting all players with the wearable computing devices, which will make MLS the first ‘smart league” in professional sports.
Beginning in the 2013 season, all 19 MLS clubs will use the system, providing coaches, trainers and players with real-time performance metrics including heart rate, speed, acceleration, distance, field position and, for the first time, power.
The software used on the sidelines can do everything from analyzing trends to preventing overtraining and risk of injury and will help to maintain optimum levels of player performance week in, week out throughout the season.
At Roundarch Isobar, we’ve also done work with the adidas miCoach system, a series of consumer-available wearable computers and mobile and web apps used to help achieve maximum workout performance.
miCoach Elite, used in professional sports, is the evolution of the miCoach devices is designed to track player performance for an entire team in real-time.
The System includes a small data cell that fits into a player’s base layer in a protective pocket on the back between the shoulder blades. Connected by a series of electrodes and sensors woven into the fabric of the base layer, the cell transmits more than 200 data records per second from each player to a central computer over a wireless connection and is then displayed in a series of simplified insights and results on the coach’s iPad. Using the iPad application, a coach can monitor the workload of an individual player, compare one athlete with another or view the whole team to gain a complete picture of the squad.
After the game is over, the data is available to the coach/team via a secure Web application that they can log into to see all of the individual player data as well as the the data related to the entire team.
It really is a very neat system and one of those types of projects that fuses together real-world problem solving with physical and digital design and technology. It’s something our team is really proud to have had the opportunity to work on, and has helped us develop further expertise in wearable computer hardware, software and overall system design and architecture.
In the coming weeks, I plan on assembling some additional information on where I think wearable computers will be making ground in 2013, including Google Glass and some other pretty exciting things. Stay tuned…
For some more information on the great work with adidas, check out the following articles/links.
Sports Illustrated Kids
Top Drawer Soccer
The New Scientist