Wearable Technology: Part 1 – World Cup

By Jenifer Wetterau

Wish you were in Brazil experiencing all the World Cup madness? Thanks to innovative wearable technologies it is now possible to feel and breathe the atmosphere as if you were right there!

Wearable technology is undoubtedly the future of consumer electronics, with limitless creative options. While fitness bands have become very popular, other items have been slow to adopt. I believe this will change in a big way very soon.

An exciting new product created for Australian soccer fans is Foxtel’s “Alert Shirt,” a fan jersey that uses wearable technology to take the emotional experience of watching a game into the physical world, allowing fans to feel what the players feel as it happens during the game.

Hardware, software and apparel design merge together for a unique integrated experience. Real-time sports data gets transmitted via a smartphone app to the electronics within the jersey, then converted into sensations that simulate live sports action. The effects aren’t only felt when a player gets tackled. The shirt also flutters to simulate a player’s nerves before an important kick, and amps up to imitate the euphoria after scoring. Imagine being able to practically embody your favorite athlete in real-time simply by changing your shirt!

This could be a huge inspiration to many different fields besides athletics:

Medical: hands-on training for surgeons

Science: feel what it’s like to experience zero gravity or walk on the moon

Video games: actually become your avatar!

The Alert Shirt is not the only soccer related wearable in play. For the first time, referees are using Goal Control-4D technology at every venue this year to make sure everything runs smoothly. Goal Control is a German company that aims to put an end to blown calls. The Goal Control-4D system works with 14 high-speed cameras on the stadium roof that are connected to a computer system which tracks the movement of all objects on the field and filters out everything except the ball. The system knows its three dimensional x-, y- and z-position with a precision of a few millimeters. When the ball passes the goal line, the system sends a vibration and optical signal to the officials´ smartwatches.

Do you think wearable technology will vastly change spectator sports as we know them, or is this a passing fad?

As always we welcome your comments and if you like what you read, please be social and share.


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