Ministry of Sport

Wearable Technology Could Transform Sports

A panel of experts at a SportAccord 2019 summit meeting discussed the potential of wearable technology to transform sports from an athlete and fan perspective.

USA Football chief executive, Scott Hallenbeck, said using the technology to track possible concussion injuries is the ‘most obvious and important issue’ in his sport.

“We have to track the information and recognise the consequences on our side.

“Our sport has to embrace the power of that data as it is something that is going to revolutionise the sport,” he said.

International Surfing Association vice president, Barbara Kendall, said as well as health, wearable technology could help the running of competitions.

“Wearables could be fantastic for catching issues early, like heart deficiencies among young athletes.

“Wearables could help judging in the future, but for some sports, it would be a huge cost,” she said, following Hallenbeck comments on the cost of football helmets with wearable technology costing approximately $1000 per helmet.

The panel also mentioned that the use of wearable technology to collect personal data could also raise potential ethical issues that are certain to be debated at length in the future.

This included concerns surrounding the collection of an athlete’s health record which could possibly impact game time and potential sponsorships.

Wearable Technologies founder and chief executive, Christian Stammel, said it’s important to consider both how the International Federations could implement wearable technology, and the potential for the technology to influence fan engagement.

“It is time to think about how to enhance media content,” Stammel said, adding younger spectators and viewers are demanding more information about the sports they consume in this era of technological advancements and shortened attention spans.

Shaun Carney

Shaun Carney