3 Internet of Things apps that could be a game changer for sports

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The Internet of Things is already widely used in industrial and business environments, as well as in smart cities. However, the use of the Internet of Things in sports has also given rise to innovative technologies that could revolutionise entire industries.

The Internet of Things is already widely used in industrial and business environments, as well as in smart cities. However, the use of the Internet of Things in sports has also given rise to innovative technologies that could revolutionise entire industries.

Here are three ways the Internet of Things could be a game changer in sports.

1. Athlete performance

Sports tech giants are installing iot powered sensors in footwear, apparel and equipment to help ensure athlete health and safety, as well as enhance training and athlete development.

Intelligent clothing

Smart clothing is leading the next frontier in physical training. Clothes embedded with sensors use real-time data to correct biomechanics, enhance fitness, optimize training and recovery, and even correct an athlete's technique and timing.

The Athos smart activewear, for example, has 16 sensors built into its top. Twelve were specialized EMG (electromyography for sports) sensors, which allow athletes to sense how their muscles are performing and whether they know they are reaching a set goal, two were used to track their heart rate, and two were used to track their breathing.

Smart footwear

Equipped with gyroscopes, accelerometers and pressure sensors, the smart shoes can analyze running patterns, measure strain, impact and balance, and make recommendations to support training goals. This in-depth data not only helps optimize performance, but also prevents injuries.

For example, Seoul-based startup 3LLabs has developed a fitness tracking device designed to detect health problems early. The smart shoe, called the FootLogger, uses biometric data collected from athletes to send advice on how to improve gait, diagnose underlying conditions and improve athletic performance. It has eight sensors and an accelerometer to help track athletes' exercise habits. Smart shoes can also help patients with rehabilitation, especially spinal or nervous system problems, and can be used to spot early symptoms of arthritis and dementia.

Intelligent equipment

The global smart sports equipment market is expected to reach $12 billion by 2026. Whether it's a basketball, baseball bat, golf club or helmet, sports devices equipped with wireless iot sensors are helping athletes and coaches monitor, track, analyze, and improve performance and provide enhanced health and safety.

Babolat's smart racket, for example, has a piezoelectric sensor mounted on the handle that measures changes in pressure, acceleration, strain or force by converting them into electrical charges. Armed with this hardware and Babolat's algorithm, the racket can track how, how often and how fast a player hits the ball.

2. Facility management

Another important iot application in sports is facility and field management. One of the biggest daily responsibilities of sports facilities and venues is to keep the space clean, comfortable and safe. There are a number of iot technologies that can help simplify these tasks and reduce the associated costs.

For example, combining personnel statistics with presence detection data can pinpoint frequently used areas, as well as different areas such as restrooms, concession booth queues, entrances and exits, in order to better manage disinfection and cleaning schedules. With the help of wireless iot sensors, facility managers can also proactively monitor when consumables such as hand sanitizer, tissues, toilet paper and hand sanitizer are running low at entrances and lavatories for effective inventory management and timely replenishment. Similarly, stadiums can enhance waste management using smart bin technology based on the Internet of Things, sending real-time data on litter filling levels to facilities managers for timely removal.

In terms of spectator comfort, as well as operating expenses and sustainability, energy management can now be easily optimized with the help of environmental sensors that monitor temperature, lighting and cooling. These environmental data identify key energy consumption drivers and provide a comprehensive view of energy consumption patterns, abnormal energy consumption (if any) from faulty equipment, and underused or overused infrastructure and wasted resources. Similarly, air quality sensors can be used to ensure proper ventilation inside stadiums.

3. Audience experience

With an $8 billion market, sports organizations now realize that improving the spectator experience with innovative technology has become necessary for their survival and growth, while competing with digital entertainment systems that keep younger generations at home.

Smart stadiums are being built to dramatically improve the spectator experience and increase game attendance. Wireless sensors provide spectators with a wealth of information, from parking availability and in-venue wiring, seat upgrades, special offers and more. Viewers get a personalized experience with digital displays or downloadable apps that quickly find available parking Spaces, shorter concession lines, their seats, the nearest exit and the nearest bathroom, among other things.


The application of the Internet of Things in sports today has the potential to enhance the stadium experience by making it more personal, convenient and engaging, as well as helping to improve key aspects of business operations. To take full advantage of all the benefits, sports organizations should consider these guiding principles to maximize the power and benefits of the Internet of Things: harnessing the power of data, thinking in flexible ways, and looking at the entire spectator experience from end to end. (Compile iothome)

Reprinted in the House of Things