The Internet of Things, or IoT, is shifting the how we connect and monitor the world around us. Whether it be in industrial applications, security, home automation or the management of any sort of distributed collection, IoT enables access to information previously never available or obtained at great expense and time.
Strangely, IoT concepts have turned the tables, and have now become collecting data on our own bodies. IoT is morphing into the Internet of… Us.
Olympic athletes employed Internet of Things technology to improve their athletic training and performance for Rio 2016. With new gear, athletes and their coaches visualize where they can improve by monitoring performance in real-time. Below is a collection of devices used in training, and the results of their users!
3D Printed and Connected Footwear from Nike
Allyson Felix worked with Nike to bring the absolute best footwear to her game. 3D printed to match the contours of her feet, the Flyknit technologies minimized weight. “An extension of her foot”. Exclusively for Allyson, her sneakers provided feedback on her performance through digital sensors.
Women’s 400M Race RESULTS:
Allyson came in with an extremely close second place and won the silver medal in the women’s 400 meter race at 49.51 seconds.
US Men’s Cycling used Solos Eyewear to Train
Functional and aerodynamic, US Cyclists have an added advantage this year in training. Wearing the Solos Smart Eyewear, they access real-time data through a pupil-sized heads up display, or HUD. Accessing data through dual microphones, cyclists know their distance traveled, speed, heart rate, cadence, and elevation.
Reviewing the training data, a new breed of data analysts and tool sets have work to do in order to improve the trips of the wearers.
The Hexoskin Smart Shirt used in Track and Field Performance
South African track and field athlete Willem Coertzen wore the Hexoskin smart shirt through his training.
With integrated bio-metric sensors, the shirt provides electrical electrocardiogram data while it is worn, as well as basic information like breath rate, hear rate, and activity.
Data from the shirt is readily available to bluetooth synced devices for athletes and coaches. Algorithms and analysis tools are packaged with the Hexoskin that compare data with previous performances, and offers tailored advice.
US Women’s Volleyball Jump Measurement
The VERT Jump monitor is waist-wearable technology that measures the wearers jumping height over time. Real-time data has been extremely valuable to coaches to monitor fatigue- which manages expectations through practices and prevents injury- a fatigued player is a player in danger of instability and injury.
The VERY jump monitors connect via bluetooth to a smartphone app that provides coaches data across multiple players.
Hysko and Canadian Boxing
The Canadian Boxing team utilized wearable technology wrapped against their skin and into their gloves. The Hysko wearable measures maximum velocity, acceleration, and distance. Analysis of this data obtained during training and sparring can help boxers improve their punches through direct knowledge of optimum striking distance, angles, and direction.
The WHOOP Wearable and Intensity Measurement
Twenty athletes trained for the Rio Olympics with the WHOOP wearable device. The device and accompanying software provides actionable data that measures strain and recovery- allowing athletes to reduce injury, balance sleep schedules, and optimize their peak intensity.
This more wholistic approach to performance has been used by US Swimmer Ryan Lochte, wrestler Adreline Gray, and volleyball players Casey Patterson and Jake Glibb.
Scratching the Surface of IoT and Human Performance
The Rio Olympics are offering our first introduction to IoT training. The next summer Olympics, to take place in Tokyo, will likely showcase a plethora of device users, and possibly bring in ethical concerns of athletes wanting to incorporate devices into the competition itself. Who knows, if NBC can monetize their data, they might get their way!