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  • Writer's pictureAle Tang

4 Sports Tech You Should Know

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

Whichever side you take in the debate in human augmentation, virtualisation or AI-based toolkits, it is without doubt that innovations affect how a sport is played, trained and viewed. Here are some names, Apple Fitness+ and NBA App aside, you should know even if you ain't a tech-head:

1. Zone7 - athlete performance AI solution

While we all starts from skills and techniques, athletic performance every so often halts at injury. That's exactly why risk and workload management is the focus of Zone7. With the mission of "elevating human performance through data and artificial intelligence", Zone7 works with sports organisations to unlock valuable, reliable insights from performance (strength, conditioning and medical) data, forecast injury risk, and help athletes attain peak performance.

The proprietary AI-driven platform can also be customised to fit every organisation to offer practical, proactive intervention recommendations that help coaches, practitioners and other decision makers in sports, military, or beyond.

2. Hawk-Eye Innovations - world's first optical tracking AI system

Gone are the days when we the sports fans were driven up the wall by a judgement of the referee/umpire. Hawk-Eye's Semi-Automatic Offside Technology (SAOT) detects the exact position of the ball and individual players in real-time, using 12 dedicated tracking cameras in the stadium (for the ball) and 29 skeletal points of each player. The SAOT tracks the body points to millimetre accuracy in a 3D space, and operations room officials can check the decision made by the system and inform the on-field judge of the final offside decision.

The system also creates a virtual replay of the incident, which is made available to broadcasters, commentary teams, and big screens in the venue for the fans' clarity.

3. GiveVision - VR-based wearable vision aid system

We just love sports tech empowering the differently abled, be it contestants or spectators. GiveVision is the creator of SightPlus, world's first (2016) wearable vision aid powered by a smartphone. Using a proprietary retinal imaging system, GiveVision enhances the remaining sight of people with sight loss, allowing them to see live events with their own eyes. The company also offers seamless installation and support to venues, ensuring an inclusive match-day experience like never before.

The device was already seen in tournaments the like of SW19 and Paris 2023 World Para Athletics Championships in July; we can't wait to see stadiums and arenas worldwide more accessible!

4. MatchKit - sports influencer marketing platform

They say athletes are, ahem, sexy but their retired life not so. MatchKit offers an all-in-one platform aiming to make athletes financially fit with a variety of online tools - build a profile, create a personal crowdfund initiative, monetise their personal brand with an online store, and gain marketing skills and insights from the learning centre.

Since its launch in 2020, MatchKit has already attracted over 2,500 athlete users, including all SA Rugby Team players, raised over R3.4 million (approx. USD180K) for athletes in need, powered SA Hockey Team to the Tokyo 2020, and rewarded SA Olympic medalists with more than R400K (approx. USD21K) in less than a week. Seeing the cinderella story of Hong Kong Fencing Team, we definitely welcome more technologies that connect the sports industry to the commercial world.

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