RISE ICT stories: Analyzing Performance in Sports

Sensors and smart textiles can measure an athlete’s movement, and give valuable data to improve competitive performance. This technology could also be used to give spectators at sporting events additional insight and experiences. This is the focus of the EVINN (Event-Based Innovation) project, an outgrowth of solutions that in many cases are based on the results of studies on smart garments for people suffering from neurological diseases.

One of the thematic areas of EVINN is Sports Gear. RISE Acreo is contributing with technical knowledge of sensors and smart textiles for athletes. Often, assessment of athletic performance is based on subjective perceptions of “how it feels”. Smart textiles enable athletes to make objective measurements in real time. Focus has been on developing smart sports gear for runners and swimmers. Even though precise measurements can currently be taken in a laboratory, they are not nearly as accurate and relevant as measurements taken under real-life conditions.

“It was challenging to find a solution for swimmers that wouldn’t inhibit their movements, was waterproof and could send wireless data. We developed a sensor system for the swim cap that could send information in real-time,” Acreo Swedsih ICT project leader Peter Björkholm explains.

EVINN is an inter-regional project of the Kattegat/Skagerrak region, with partners in Denmark, Norway and the western part of Sweden. The project centers on sports events as a generator for economic growth. The project aim is to build, develop and disseminate technological solutions that will ensure the region's leadership position as an event organizer. Acreo has cooperated with the Swedish School of Textiles, among others, on the project.

The new solutions will be further developed within the new RISE ICT Business & Innovation area, Internet of Sports. The EVINN partners are also in the process of preparing the application for an EVINN 2 project, to further develop the solutions for introduction to the market.

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