Sport has been around for thousands of years and will most likely continue to be around for thousands more. The more technology advances, the more benefits are being realised to integrate it with our favourite sports. Here are five ways in which technology will impact the future of sport.
1. Football and VAR
VAR (Video Assistant Referee) was first introduced in 2017 in Italy and Germany’s top flight leagues. It is used when incidents occur that have been identified as game-changing. When an incident occurs, the VAR recommends that it should be reviewed. The video footage is reviewed by the VAR, who advises the referee via headset what the video shows. The referee can decide to review the video footage on the side of the pitch before taking appropriate action. Alternatively, the referee can accept the information from the VAR and takes appropriate action.
Although it makes decision-making more accurate, implementing VAR does come with its disadvantages. One of the main negatives is the time it takes to make a decision using VAR. It slows down the flow of the game and referrals can take far too long.
2. Data Analytics
Almost every aspect of every sport in the world is being monitored and analysed by collecting data. Embedded in players’ jerseys are monitors tracking everything from heart rate to distance covered, this allows sports teams to examine the data and find out what was done right and what areas could have been improved.
Not only can data analytics improve the ability to improve players, but data can be collected from fans to influence marketing efforts and decisions about sporting events, such as when to schedule games and how to cater to fan preferences.
3. Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality allows coaches to observe their players from different angles to understand their behaviour, while athletes can also observe their performance from real matches and training sessions. It can also be used to practice in simulations and can adjust their technique according to system feedback.
Virtual Reality will have an even bigger impact on the fans and the way they can watch their favourite teams. By capturing matches using 360° video cameras, the audience can watch the events as an immersive experience through headsets or mobile. The capability of VR allows viewers to see what they want and focus on their favourite players. One of the most notable companies dominating this industry is NextVR, who are already broadcasting NBA, NFL and Wimbledon, with many more different leagues and sports to come.
4. Hawk-Eye Technology in Cricket and Tennis
Hawk-Eye technology specifically measures a ball’s trajectory. In tennis and cricket, there are six cameras situated around the court/field of play and they all track the path of the ball. These six separate views are then combined together to produce an accurate 3D representation of the path of the ball.
Tennis and cricket were the first two sports to implement the technology in 2001, since then other sports have started to use it including rugby, badminton, volleyball and Gaelic football.
5. Ingestible Thermometer Pills
For athletes, it is important to supervise temperature and heart rare. Heat exhaustion is the second most common reason for sports-related fatalities. Ingestible thermometer pills have become a necessity for most trainers in most sports. These pills transmit vital information of the body to medical personnel and if there is any problem with the body, it can be solved before any accident occurs.