The world of sports has been evolving ever since its very advent, and the inclusion of technology is one area that has significantly impacted sports of the modern day. Don’t believe us, look at the annual sports technology awards for the latest technology ideas in the world of sport. Or, just simply think about the number of people who watch Vegas odds every day.
Nevertheless, the addition of new technologies into the sports arena has often resulted in controversies. One criticism that constantly comes with the use of technology is that it can potentially slow down the speed of a game. However, technology does make watching sports more enjoyable by helping people see how the correct decisions are made.
When a new technology is available and proved to be efficient, then it is only right that it is used to make the right decisions. After all, it is only fair to the players and teams when the decisions made are right.
Below, let’s take a look at the top five advantages of technology in sports.
- Virtual Reality and Fan Experience
Virtual Reality is currently a huge thing, and it is being used both on and off the field to boost player performance. Additionally, it also gives fans a better viewing experience.
Nevertheless, beyond the fan perspective, VR makes player training more efficient. It allows players to practice their passing in a virtual space that feels and looks like a holodeck version of Madden Football. Furthermore, it also helps coaches worry less about injuries as they can constantly review the data gathered to refine player training.
Now coming back to the fan perspective, VR enables fans to get not one step but several steps closer to the game. Recently, FOX Sports joined forces with NextVR to broadcast live sporting events leveraging VR technology. With ticket prices on the rise, VR might be the best and the most affordable way to enjoy your favorite games in the future.
- Young Athlete Development
Player-tracking tech isn’t something that is only for major leaguers. It is also something the local high school soccer, baseball, or football teams can leverage. Various players in the wearable tech field like PlayerTek and FieldWiz have come up with solutions that help coaches and players gather data, analyze it, and use it to enhance performance. DribbleUp is a service provider that does the same for soccer.
Player metrics and goals will definitely become more refined in the future, especially with the addition of more apps and platforms that does everything from tracking a player’s diet to workouts and sleep.
- Smart Helmets and Better Equipment
If the movie “Moneyball” introduced sabermetrics to the world, it was Will Smith’s “Concussion” that shed light on the long-term effects of head injuries on pro athletes, especially NHL and NFL players.
The NFL is leveraging technology to upgrade and improve equipment to address the issue. Researches have proved that traditional NFL helmets weren’t as helpful as thought to be. To end this issue, Riddell introduced SppedFlex helmet technology to put forward a customizable smart helmet. This helmet is equipped with sensors and magnets that help detect collision and disperse or absorb the impact.
However, the helmet tech doesn’t end there. The latest version of the helmet tracks wirelessly to the side-lines where player staff can assess concussion data in real-time. The same technology can be applied to helmets for lacrosse players, snowboarders, and more.
- eSports and New Types of Competition
eSports has been rocking the traditional sports associations and their franchises ever since its advent. It has evolved to be a vital element in the sports industry as viewership continues to drop on even the most significant sporting events. However, major sports franchises aren’t turning a blind eye. In fact, they are partnering with eSports leagues, teams, and players to overcome this issue. What’s more, there also exists a fantasy league for eSports.
- Officiating Assistance
Referees are humans, and they sometimes make mistakes. And technology is here to correct that. Though instant replay technology has been around for a while, the 360-degree cameras and VR are giving referees an unparalleled view of the action.
If you are wondering whether such changes are really required, just imagine how hard it would be for a referee to keep an eye on various players at a time. It is quite difficult than following the action from your couch.
However, it still is a sensitive topic. A lot of people feel that the introduction of such technologies can entirely remove the human element from the game. But the humane element is what makes sports entertaining in the first place. Even then, the major sports associations are striving to find ways to make technology support human game callers.