Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation

Sports Tech Shows Internet of Things Potential

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With big tech players like Cisco and Intel on the bandwagon, the Internet of Things was a major theme at CES 2014. Future advances could include headphones that measure your health and cities almost smart enough to run themselves. But the present-day tech is pretty compelling, too, such as 94Fifty's $295 smart basketball, which uses embedded sensors to track how a player is performing and provide real-time feedback to a smartphone or tablet app. Check out InformationWeek's visit to 94Fifty's CES booth to learn how IoT could help tech-savvy basketball players improve their skills.

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ChanceYouTake
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ChanceYouTake,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/21/2014 | 1:59:25 PM
Technology and Basketball Free Throws
I used to work for a company (CTS) that did some great things with technology regarding basketball and free throw shooting.

http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2011/10/mcwane_science_centers_science.html
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
1/28/2014 | 8:35:34 AM
Re: Goodbye tall tales
I was thinking more along the lines of pickup style games but on the organized sports levels if we stick to the smart basketball example imagine the ball calling itself out of bounds or marking its position when it is shot near the 3 point line.  Some very simple data points could end controversial calls.  As long as they aren't affecting the actions of the ball itself I think it's a great tech that brings a lot to the table.  Even things as simple as tracking the amount of time a single ball is in play would be good for the league to track the life of a piece of equipment.

 
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
1/27/2014 | 3:11:45 PM
Re: Goodbye tall tales
In terms of commentators, practice, analysis-- absolutely, total immersion. Some teams, such as the Houston Rockets, are already using advanced metrics to inform a lot of their coaching, and as the data becomes more adundant, people will use it for increasingly granular purposes. Mainstream media outlets like ESPN routinely dedicate coverage to new metrics that dispel old myths, and as people gain a chance to see these concepts firsthand (like they might with this product), the trend will only accelerate.


But I'm not convinced data will be used that way real-time during games, at least not soon. Like I mentioned with the track and field example, many sports governance bodies impose regulations regarding what kind of technology coaches and players can access during competition. During practice, most restrictions about technology go out the window. But during competition, many more rules come into play. That might change eventually, but I suspect the implementation of this sort tech during matches will face opposition, at least in the near term.
ChrisMurphy
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ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
1/27/2014 | 2:40:35 PM
Re: Goodbye tall tales
My money is on it going the complete opposite direction Michael -- total immersion in data and data collection during the games. Data feeds the fanatasy sports beast, providing more fodder for discussion and debate, and it feeds the Moneyball obsession that the road to picking great players lies in having the right stats. 
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
1/27/2014 | 9:29:33 AM
Re: Goodbye tall tales
Interesting point. During games, I suspect many sports leagues will end up regulating when and how given technologies can be used. During many track and field competitions, for example, athletes are permitted almost no electronic review (photos, videos, whatever) of their performance. But tech like this will definitely change the way people talk about and practice for sports. I also wonder if it might provide educational opportunities. The app that goes alongside this basketball, for example, is a nice illustration of STEM principles in action.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
1/27/2014 | 9:01:18 AM
Goodbye tall tales
I have to say that while this is very cool tech it's going to change the talk after the game.  Instead of guys talking about shots made, and moves they pulled off you'll have guys huddled around a laptop to see what their stats were.
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