Wearable technology has become increasingly prevalent in professional sports, offering a range of devices designed to enhance athlete safety. Here are some examples of wearable tech beyond smart mouthguards that contribute to the well-being of professional sportspeople:
Smart Helmets: Similar to smart mouthguards, smart helmets are equipped with sensors that monitor impact forces and head movements. They are particularly crucial in contact sports like football and cycling, providing real-time data to help prevent and manage head injuries, including concussions.
GPS Trackers: GPS trackers are widely used in sports like soccer, football, and rugby to monitor players’ movements during training and games. These devices provide valuable data on distance covered, speed, and acceleration, aiding coaches in managing player workload and preventing overtraining or fatigue-related injuries.
Wearable Biometric Sensors: Athletes can wear sensors that monitor various biometric markers, such as heart rate, oxygen saturation, and body temperature. This information helps assess an athlete’s physical condition, detect signs of overexertion, and prevent heat-related illnesses during training and competitions.
Wearable Impact Sensors: Beyond helmets, wearable impact sensors can be attached to different parts of the body, such as the chest or shoulders, to monitor and analyse the force and location of impacts. This data aids in identifying potential injury risks and implementing preventive measures.
Compression Clothing with Biometric Monitoring: Some athletic clothing is designed with integrated sensors to monitor biometric data, such as muscle activity and lactate levels. These wearables provide insights into muscle fatigue, recovery needs, and overall physical strain, assisting in injury prevention and performance optimisation.
Smart Insoles: Smart insoles are designed to be placed inside athletic shoes to analyse an athlete’s gait, foot pressure, and balance. This information is valuable for preventing lower limb injuries and improving biomechanics, particularly in sports that involve running and rapid changes in direction.
Wearable Hydration Sensors: Dehydration can significantly impact performance and increase the risk of injuries. Wearable hydration sensors monitor an athlete’s hydration levels in real-time, providing alerts and recommendations to ensure proper fluid intake during training and competitions.
Smart Fabrics and Wearable Body Armour: Advances in smart textiles have led to the development of wearable body armour with embedded sensors. These garments can monitor impacts, body posture, and muscle activity, offering additional layers of protection in contact sports.
As technology continues to advance, the integration of wearables in professional sports will likely expand, providing athletes and their support teams with increasingly sophisticated tools to enhance performance, monitor health, and mitigate the risk of injuries.