The Internet of Things - A Sporting Chance

  • Posted on: 9 March 2015
  • By: interactive

We’re hearing a lot these days about the Internet of Things and how it’s changing the way in which we live, work and play (better break out the Mars bars to give us the energy we need to keep up with this).   We’ve already written about the Internet of Things (IoT), the impact it’s likely to have on us and just how important it is for the telematics industry.   Because the IoT depends on rapidly changing technology, things change really fast and here at Interactive Communications we think it’s important to keep up with what’s going on within the telematics industry.  This is why we strive to stay up to date with all the changes and new technology – it’s something that will allow us to stand head and shoulders above our competitors.  We want to make sure that our customers are also kept au fait with what’s going on within our sector, so when we come across interesting news we report it here so that are readers are fully informed of any new developments as they occur.

A promising new development as far as the IoT is concerned is that it’s going in to bat in the world of sports.  Pioneering use of new technology is have a fundamental effect on the way in which matches are played and watched.  Believe it or not, back in the 1950s an RAF officer called Charles Reep came up with the idea of data capture in sports.   He came up with a system of paper notation to record players’ moves while watching football matches.  Back in those days he had to rely on traditional tools – namely his eyesight, a notebook and a pencil!  Without the use of a computer, it took Reep three whole months to sort through the data that was produced watching the 1958 World Cup Final.  Reep’s analysis is credited with driving English football managers to prefer the long-ball game.

We’ve all heard of the photo-finish in racing – more than one competitor crosses the finish line at just about the same time.  While it’s impossible to discern with the naked eye which one came first, a photo or video taken at the finish line is used to ascertain which racer actually won.  Photo finish cameras were developed during the 1940’s and 1950’s in order to regulate the racing industry and eliminate cheating.

Moving on to this century and we see technology as part of our everyday lives.  Everybody who attends a match of any sort will have a smartphone with a camera on it.   While rugby may be a good, old-fashioned game, it’s way ahead of the game when it comes to adopting new technology.  Over the past few years clubs have started to combine information from their camera and video screens with other sources of data (in particular the information from GPS satellites and accelerometers worn by players). 

At the moment the convergence of health and lifestyle technology is changing the world of sport.  Sensors are installed in clothing, on racquets, in shoes and even in golf clubs (to monitor the swing) provide kinetic real-time feedback.  Sports are layering together these different technologies and changing coaching, the way fans view the game and even how sports clubs are run.  Nowadays fans can see how their team performed and which players were most influential in each game.