A digital ecosystem is emerging in mass sports

19 october 2016

“We are currently seeing a mass migration of high performance sports technology into the physical training education and mass sports. This trend has been largely a result of the fast development of the high-tech and IT markets, that has made advanced digital tech widely available and affordable,” said the Head of the Department for IT and Data Processing of the Analytical Center Yuri Linkov, speaking at the international forum Russia as a Sports Power.

In his report titled Promoting Physical Training Education of the Public through 2030 Taking into Account the Capabilities of Modern IT Mr. Linkov noted that the number of gadgets and wearables that people use on a daily basis is growing significantly every year and these new types of devices are now becoming mainstream sport trends. According to the expert, the main application of IT in physical training and sports has to do with the new trends towards the use of big data, augmented reality, remote coaching and the drive towards the development of individual fitness profiling.

A fitness profile contains information about a person’s physical activity and their medical information collected from wearable and medical devices. There are already health and fitness applications and services available today that can collect data on the pulse, the number of calories burned, the arterial blood pressure, sleep phases, sugar, and cholesterol levels. The Health application saves this information and makes it available through a single interface allowing you to get precise and reliable data with a single touch. The information gathered in this manner belongs exclusively to its owner who then decides how to use it (they can have it automatically forwarded to their personal coach, their fitness medical consultant or their GP).

Augmented reality is a technology that displays computer generated content over a video feed of your surroundings. Modern sensors are advanced enough to allow PC and game console controllers to be brought to market relatively cheaply. These new controllers allow the player to interact with the game world without having to touch any controls, through voice commands, body posture, and body movements and by pointing to specific objects. The experience with these kinds of devices suggests a whole slew of new methods for getting people engaged in many kinds of sporting activities.

Remote coaching allows athletes to keep training and remain in touch with their mentor while attending competitions or camps.

Big data are non-systematized data on socio-economic development and environment generated using IT and communications technologies and gathered outside the official statistics channels. For example, the German national football team to a large extent owes its victory at the 2014 FIFA World Cup to big data. They created an application that used data on the playing styles of each player and the team as a whole to create a 3D model that allowed them to analyze the performance of the team and individual performance of each player.

Disclosure of sports information as open data and popularization in cooperation with software developers and business representatives is going to lead to the emergence of new applications and services and create an entire digital ecosystem in sports.

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