Technology and sport are increasingly forming a powerful union
Tablets are replacing clipboards, boundary lines are becoming 3D, and players are now able to give live event commentary via cameras in their helmets.
As we saw during the recently-concluded ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, technology and sport are increasingly forming a powerful union, transforming the viewing experience of sports lovers across the world.
In fact, this union is reinventing how we train, watch, and play our favourite games. With live feeds, big data, mobile applications, and wearables at our fingertips, technology’s influence over sport ripples from the big leagues down to the at-home enthusiast.
With so much sports technology at the ready, we’ve pulled together a list of what we think are the top 10 ways technology and sports are the ideal training partners, to help you get the most out of your training sessions.
1. There’s something for everyone
Intel’s number one reason why technology is the perfect training partner is the plethora of intelligent devices and programs out there to help you train better.
Whatever your fitness goal, technology can help get you there from apps helping you find and compare the best sporting equipment or locations to keeping up to date with the latest sports news. There are also wearables that track your heart-rate and speed, and by syncing with your connected Intel-powered device, such as the ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi, you can manage your performance data with incredible speed, reliability, and precision.
For instance, with SMS Audio BioSport in-ear headphones you can track your intensity level through its heart rate monitor during your workout, as well as link it with major fitness apps so you can download your performance data to review post-workout.
2. Your personal cheerleader
We all need a little encouragement now and then to go out and train or attend that early morning gym class – especially during the winter months – but thanks to technology you can exercise in the comfort of your own home. There’s even applications that will give you motivational boosts while out and about training.
For instance, 2 in 1 like the Intel Core M-powered Lenovo Yoga Pro 3 is a great device for an indoor pilates session or even a yoga session. Using the device to follow online video classes, or simply using the camera to review your own posture, you can undertake the ideal session from your front living room.
Alternatively, mobile apps, such as RunKeeper, use your smartphone’s GPS to track your running progress, including speed, elapsed time, and distance. The app features an audio coach, goal check-ins if you’re not meeting your pre-set pace, and a fun photo element that allows you to snap your destination while on the go.
3. Holding you accountable
Sports wearables such as the Basis Peak fitness tracker make being lazy hard work. The Basis watch syncs data to a phone-based app, displaying daily activity including heart rate, calories burnt, distance covered, sleep, and steps. If the guilt of low numbers doesn’t get you moving, some wearables even go so far to beep and buzz at you after a while of inactivity.
4. Get your own personal trainer
Apps and trackers like the Adidas MiCoach, which was used by soccer World Champions, Germany, provide detailed performance data which allows you to fine tune your skills and plan workouts – and those of your friends.
Using Intel Core M devices, such as the HP Envy x2, you can access free world-class training sessions in the comfort of your bedroom, office, or garden. These handheld personal trainers offer customisable workouts including audio guidance and visual demos to help get that six-pack underway. To keep your momentum flowing, track your data, and watch the demo videos on your ultra-light device to ensure you get the best picture and results from your workout.
5. Reaching new heights
Today, technology can use big data from training, preparation, and tournaments to enable individuals, teams, and coaches to assess and improve outcomes with new degrees of accuracy.
A great example of this is STATS’ SportVU technology, which captures one million data records per game and is already being used in the UEFA Champions League and the NBA. For instance, NBA teams can track the shot location of every player and their success rate allowing them to identify strengths and weaknesses to adapt accordingly.
Running on Intel processors, the workstations tasked with managing these significant data volumes are able to generate reports within 90 seconds, allowing teams to take immediate action to steal a march on the competition.
6. A deep understanding
Want to use your device at the gym without having to pause mid-run to change music or that news article you were reading? If so, then devices with Intel RealSense 3D camera might be the ideal choice for you.
The devices use motion-tracking software to create a touch-free interface that responds to hand, arm, and head motions as well as facial expressions, making it the perfect companion for when you’re logging those kilometres on the exercise bike or treadmill in the gym.
7. Learning from the greats
Social media and digital content has revolutionised the way we engage with and watch our favourite sporting teams and athletes. Leveraging the performance of Intel powered desktops, 2 in 1s, all in ones and tablets, you can now gain unprecedented insights to better understand high-profile athletes, or consume visual content delivering behind-the-scenes exclusive access to their favourite sports club. This means it’s easier than ever before to learn new styles, moves, and strategies that could help you improve your own game.
8. Never forget a workout
Whether you’re simply syncing your gym schedule to your smartphone’s digital calendar – such as the new ASUS Zenfone 2 running on Intel® Atom™ processors – or looking for new exciting ways to get active, technology helps you train harder by keeping you organised. Some smartwatches even display emails and enable you to take calls while training – ensuring you never have an excuse to miss a session again.
9. Stay inspired and keep at it
With the online fitness revolution exploding, there is an endless supply of great, motivating information out there that can help improve and strengthen your training.
If you want to research others with similar experiences to you, or find a new coach who can take you to the next level, using an Intel Atom-enabled device can help you source, store and view new data faster than ever before.
10. Unite with likeminded training buddies
Thanks to technology even those who don’t play in a team will always have somebody to train with. Whether it’s bonding over a mobile app, finding a class online, streaming an exercise program, or competing with friends using your wearables or apps like workout tracker Strava (which has a highly competitive leadership board), technology creates new ways for people to connect both on and off the field. Technology creates new sports buddies, which is the greatest inspiration of all!
(The writer is the Country Business Manager at Intel Sri Lanka Liaison Office.)