5 Ways Technology Will Impact The Future Of Sport

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.

Future Of Gaming

Gaming is without a doubt one of the most popular sources of entertainment with more than 2.5 billion gamers worldwide. As technology advances, so will the quality of video games and how we play them. So what does the future of gaming look like?

One of the main changes in gaming is as technology evolves, as will how powerful gaming consoles will be. As a result of this, loading times on games will shorten and graphics will improve. In the not-so-distant future there will be video games that are indistinguishable from real-life. There will not only be traditional gaming consoles such as the Xbox and PlayStation, but Virtual Reality headsets and games compatible with Augmented Reality that will be played wearing a pair of glasses or even smart lenses

At the moment, Virtual Reality is still in its infancy but it has the potential to become a lot more. Current hardware just includes a user wearing a headset and using a controller to move in-game.However, the end goal for Virtual Reality companies such as Oculus, will be a fully immersive experience that puts the player directly into the game. 

As exciting as the whole Virtual Reality movement may seem, future hardware will likely need a range of ethical and usage guidelines. There is a very real risk of people staying in a virtual reality for too long and suffering physical consequences, or struggling to differentiate between virtual and physical realities. As depicted in the film Ready Player One, which is definitely worth a watch. 

As the popularity of gaming increases worldwide, so has the competitive gaming scene which is known as eSports. It is a billion dollar industry with hundreds of millions of viewers annually. eSports is unquestionably going to see an increase in popularity over the next couple of years and there are a number of factors that will drive the growth that include diversity of game genres, geographic expansion of leagues, regulation of competitions, ownership of media rights and alignment of traditional and digital media. 

It is likely that in the next couple of years, you will not buy individual games but there will be subscription-type services for games using a Netflix-type model.

The future of gaming is definitely an interesting one and I will be keeping a close eye on new innovations related to the industry. The potential is limitless, especially with the predicted advancements in technology. It is likely that gaming in 100 years will be completely incomprehensible to us now.

Future Of China

China is the second largest economy and one of the fastest growing countries on the planet. But what does the future of China look like?

In 1978, after years of state control of all productive assets, the government of China embarked on a major economic reform. Since then their economy has grown at an average of 9.91%, which is roughly 7-8% higher than the average.

China is not only focusing on rapid development but it’s also attempting to improve the quality of life for their citizens and countering issues such as wealth gap and pollution. The massive outrage against rising pollution has opened an opportunity for electric carmakers such as Tesla and Anhui Zotye Automobile Co. to push for business expansion. This would massively improve not only their environment but improve the quality of life for their citizens. 

The rapid growth in China has allowed them to become a massive player in the technology industry. Nine of the world’s twenty biggest tech companies are Chinese, with Alibaba and Tencent the two largest.

Alibaba is a multinational conglomerate specialising in e-commerce, retail, internet, AI and technology. Alibaba is heavily reinvesting revenue into growth and looking for global expansion. As a result of this it has made Alibaba even more profitable than Amazon, although that does not mean much now as the the main priority for both of these companies would be future growth. 

Tencent is a multinational investment holdings conglomerate, whose subsidiaries specialise in various Internet-related services and products, entertainment, artificial intelligence and technology both in China and globally. Belonging to the technology sector means the company will be affected directly and indirectly by a number of disruptive opportunities and challenges over the coming decades. Internet penetration will grow from 50 percent in 2015 to over 80 percent by the late-2020s, allowing regions across Africa, South America, the Middle East and parts of Asia to experience their first Internet revolution. This will be a massive opportunity for Tencent as they own so many technology companies that will most definitely profit from this growth.

So what does China’s future look like? The Chinese government has announced “Made in China 2025” which is a bold plan to revolutionise the country’s image. Their new policies are aimed at enhancing innovation and production efficiency. China’s goal for 2015 was to become the world’s largest manufacturer of goods, which they achieved. Their goal for 2035 is to be competitive with developed manufacturing economies. By 2049 their goal is to become the world’s top manufacturer. The ultimate goal for China is to change China from a mass-producer to a quality-master and they are on track.