FinTech, HealthTech, XTech. What about SportsTech? (1)

I’m sure you’ve heard of expressions like FinTech, HealthTech or SpaceTech somehow before. So what about SportsTech? As you can guess, the as word meaning, SportsTech is the intersection of sports and technology. You immediately remember Ivan Drago’s high-tech trainings against Rocky’s old school training, right? 

 

Before talking about what we should understand when it comes to SportsTech, let’s take a look at the relationship between sports and technology with some examples from recent history.

The development of technology has gained tremendous velocity since the beginning of the 2000s, especially with the rapid spread and democratization of the internet and related access to information.

Thanks to this development in technology, human life began to change more rapidly than ever before. This has caused the needs, expectations and desires of people to change. At that time, I knew that for what I watch on the movies to be ”real”, I had to wait for technology to develop. But these days, I guess I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that we are experiencing the days when technology catches up with our “imaginations”. Remember Nike shoes tying the laces to themselves in the 1989 movie, Back to the Future.

Yes, Nike announced for the first time in 2016 that it will produce 89 of these “smart” shoes.

Such development of technology, of course, also affects and changes the sport industry. Especially in recent years, sports technologies started to offer very useful solutions. Innovative products and services in this field have led to dramatic changes in many areas, from human health to athlete performance or improved fan experience to the e-sports world.

Now let me try to explain how technology has changed sports with some examples from history.

The lowest scoring game in NBA history was played on November 22, 1950. In the match that ended 19-18, the fans protested this. NBA officials began using the shot clock in 1954 to find a solution. The shot clock is considered a revolution in basketball. It was the technological innovation that completely changes the game. Shot Clock has made basketball a more fun and enjoyable game that more people watch.

Wearable technologies allow real-time monitoring of athlete health. With the Minnesota Vikings player Korey Stringer’s death of heat stroke during a training session in 2001, technology developers began to seek ways to monitor the factors that affect athletes’ health in real time. With the use of wearable technologies in sports, cases such as dehydration and heart attack have been significantly reduced. Thanks to this technology, critical data such as pulse rate, hydration and body temperature can be monitored and a difference can be made in the lives of many athletes.

On the other hand, whether we are athletes, trainers or a fan, we expect referee mistakes to be at the lowest level, especially in sports such as tennis and volleyball, where the ball needs to be followed. Techniques such as hawk eye and sensor technologies override human mistake and make the encounters fair.

 

To be continued…

Håkon Ege / Collective Innovation.