IoT & Sports: The Game is Changing

IoT is having a big impact on sports

IoT and sports – two words that not many thought we’d see in the same sentence, but it turns out that IoT is having a growing impact on sports and it’s gaining more traction every day. Here’s how it’s happening. 

Player performance, health & safety

By combining analytics with digital sensors, wearable technology, and video of matches, coaches are using data to obtain metrics on player efficiency and performance, as well as weaknesses in opponents. This actionable data has a number of benefits, including developing better in-game strategy.

Additionally, embedded devices such as smart shoe insoles and embedded sensors produce an abundance of data that helps sports doctors and physical therapists to maximize performance while mitigating injury risk and developing better healing strategies.  Off the field, these devices deliver data via players wearing clothing with integrated sensors as they practice and train.

Sensors monitor vital statistics such as heart and breathing rates throughout a workout, leading to more efficient exercise.

Coaches and medical staff can use data to gain insights into when to stop practice, rest players, and address things like muscle imbalances. Coaches and managers can also track a player’s historical data, leading to informed injury prevention and the identification of performance limitations.

Furthermore, smart devices in shoes, mouth guards, helmets, and other wearables mean the identification of exact body movements and performance scenarios where safety could be an issue. When an injury does occur – and this is sports, after all, where injury is part of the game – IoT can play a role in the rehab process through the use of personalized data that helps medical staff optimize recovery plans.

Enhanced fan experience

Sport venues are increasingly equipped with IoT devices and applications, turning them into smart stadiums that respond to fans needs and increase engagement.

A smart stadium can utilize real time data on digital signs or via mobile applications to alert fans to where they can find short lines to concession stands and rest rooms, along with available parking, seat upgrades and onsite offers. Fans can even order refreshments via apps and get alerts as to when their order is ready.

IoT deployments improve operational efficiencies in sports venues, such as optimized energy usage, due to monitoring temperatures and lighting throughout the venue and adjusting as needed. Predictive maintenance is also being employed, and even things like optimized restroom cleaning schedules are helping to enhance fan experience.

The use of connected cameras and drones – smart surveillance – are being used to keep an eye on fan behavior by monitoring every corner of the arena or stadium and tracking access to sensitive areas. Stadium staff are able to enact a swift response to any issues that may arise. Advanced solutions can utilize facial recognition to oversee fans’ behavior.

Let’s get ready to rumble!