It is pretty hard to single out an industry where technology has not entered and left out without any footprint. Perhaps, sports is one specific industry which has welcomed and embraced with open arms. Alternatively, the sports industry has exploited all the opportunities technology has thrown its way, with both hands. Indeed, from the primary and straightforward ways of animated video games to present-day games, technology has changed drastically. Not only has the technology towards video games impacted but it also produced a significant influence on the actual game.
If we specifically dig down contact sports, it has evolved significantly in the past decades and over the past few years in particular. A considerable amount of technological resource is becoming wireless and portable. Data about sports now being made available in real-time for players, coaches and trainers. This has given support to the transition of technology from lab settings to practice pitches, courts and on a few occasions, in official sports competitions.
Technological involvement in sports is increasing every day. However, the big question is “How has technology actually transformed the sports industry?” Below you will find 14 ways technology has changed the way a fan view sports, injuries and data:
#1. Digital Media
Digital, along with social media has made it easier than ever for sports fans to remain updated. If you are a sports fanatic, you can now follow your favorite players through social media, mobile apps, and sports games. Due to drastic improvement, technology can be utilized for a moment by moment updates and sports coverage. In addition, the television and digital coverage provided by various media stations are almost live; always. Fans also get the replay of any movement in real-time too. Around a couple of decades ago, if you forgot to see the big contest, there was no other way but to admonish yourself. There was just one way to see that game again. That too if someone had recorded the game at VCR. This typically meant fans would have no option but to wait for the newspaper to come out the next day. They needed to read all about it or conduct an informal discussion in the friend circle.
With technology pouring in, fans have enabled themselves to watch the game as many times as they wish. Also, they can pause the game and come back later to complete it. Social media’s existence has also inroad numerous opportunities for fans to communicate directly with their favorite players. All hail Twitter, Facebook, and over the past few years. Also, you can show your love for your team by buying their colors and wearing it in every game. To make your life better, there are many leading online voucher codes sites that offer exclusive discount codes for sports attire and jerseys.
Fantasy leagues have made another gateway to fans’ hearts. They play fantasy sports and remain glued to their favorite sports; again, thanks to technology. Fantasy sports help to keep track of players’ progress and have an awesome outlook on their favorite players and teams.
#2. Injury Recovery and Prevention
Injuries such as torn ligaments and muscle tweaks were a far flunked thought to be cured in sports, especially in contact sports like soccer. In fact, this is among the reasons why current athletes are receiving millions of dollars each year. Players these days do not hesitate to put their bodies on fire for entertainment objective. Today’s athletes know the risk of getting injured is high. However, they never plan for it.
Thanks to technology and emerging innovative solutions, physicians and team doctors can ensure the fitness of their concerned athletes. They know players can recover faster than ever. So, if a particular player tears their ACL in the middle of the play, for instance, technology can come handy for determining the current position of athlete’s muscle and forecast the healing results via robotic use. Having said that, as technology is in continuous progress, players should be worriless as they know their careers are not in a threat from injury – thanks to advanced medical treatments and technological devices.
#3. Team Apparel and Experience
Technology is nothing but revolution as far as apparel is concerned. The way teams are designing their sports apparel, and on some occasions, the equipment; technology has just revolutionized everything. From helmets, gloves, visors, uniforms and shoes; all are a high tech more than ever before. In the case of football, the overall experience to watch a game is completely different. For example, scoreboards, are now displayed in high-definition and that too in real-time. Now fans have access to those things which were just unimaginable a few decades ago. Technology in the shape of the internet, Wi-Fi and other recreational equipment have proved to be miracles.
The ever increasing technology in sports has made the experience memorable and empowers athletes to perform big at the highest level. Players are not afraid of injuries. One of the significant progress in team jerseys is the football helmets of a new design. With concussions are happening regularly and is becoming a significant concern in the sports industry, thanks to technology. A new technological wave of helmets is flowing in every sport. Although injuries like concussions cannot be stopped, technology has paved the way for some improvements for the sports industry in helping to minimize the possibility.
#4. Tracking Performance
Use of sensors placed on the ‘smart clothing’ (activewear with sensing fibers woven in) or body, sports trainers can measure as well as track performance in real-time. Almost every aspect of athletes can be measured. From heart rate to breathing, and from hydration to temperature, everything is traceable.
The live performances indicating machines can help a sports trainer determining what factors every player needs to focus on more. Every athlete is unique in their own way. That is why real-time measurement of individual performance can set a more accurate and precise baseline. While practicing, fitness trainers can read live metrics and decide when it’s time to rest, train harder or stretch.
GPS and lasers have been instilled into numerous aspects of sports training. Instead of just relying on splits and times, a trainer can measure the exact velocity, distance, position and acceleration of athletes in better understanding of which area needs further improvement. Identification of complex data to improve performance and fitness with less probability of injury and stress.
#5. Perfection in Athletic Moves
Sports technology is so advanced that it can produce a ‘digital code’ to win a gold medal. What does it mean? It certainly means that the collection of data and comparison can ultimately translate into a medal-winning performance. Technology has enhanced the prowess of an athlete simply because it magnifies actions that are based on performance and events that have been unseen before.
Divers and swimmers take part in an extremely technical sport. They indulge sensors into their practices too. When diving or swimming, the sensing machines measure more than effort metrics and usual time. The map moves like leg movement, dive angle, rotational speed and hydrodynamics. Observing motions like these are groundbreaking and allows coaches to aid athletes in perfecting their actions. They might only thrash milliseconds off from their performance. However, a millisecond in a match can make all the decisive difference.
#6. Communication Enhancement
Mobile applications such as YouTube have also come to the fore to enhance communication link during sports training. Hours and hours of workouts together with gameplays can be discovered by anyone and shared instantly on YouTube and other social media channels. To bolster performance by discussing plays, trainers and athletes can upload and watch essential videos during practice at their convenient time.
Communication has been increased further through applications that display personal digital health that can be accessed on a computer or on a smart device. Trainers can keep athletes’ track by instigating their daily diet and athletes will have a personal check on their training.
#7. Assisting the Referees and Umpires
Multiple professional sports all over the world have long used instant replay and different other high-tech helping tools to aid referees or umpires making the right call. Gridiron has been using the system of video replays for checking referee’s calls for many years. Referees in basketball use replay technology for making sure players are shooting within the allotted time through the shot clock.
In international cricket, the use of third umpiring has been in use for quite some time. A person sat off the pitch with access to TV replays. The role of the third umpire remains critical in certain situations (such as boundaries and disputed catches) to advise the umpires on the ground. The umpires officiating the match on the field are in communication through wireless technology with the off-field referee. Third umpires are also called for adjudication of run out decisions, which he calls without consulting the two central referees.
One sport that shows resistance to technology until very recently is football or soccer. Replays could have been used for deciding off-side decisions; whether a ball crosses over the goal line, and clarify arrangements of penalty.
#8. Hawk-Eye Technology
Hawkeye is the term used for camera and computer system that traces the ball’s trajectory. It has been widely used in tennis and cricket, and many other games are looking deeply at it to make use of this technology. The system is also in the trial process in football as part of the goal line check. The Premier Football League in the UK has given assent to the use of goal-line sensors after getting approval by rule-makers of the game. The Hawkeye uses a camera that takes 600 frames per second on the goal line; the information is analyzed by computer and relayed to the referee’s device or headset placed on his wrist.
#9. Playing the Game Virtually With Real-Time Experience
Technology has changed 360 degrees as far as virtual gaming experience is concerned. Now, you can get the feel of playing in the stadium in front of the crowd. The cricket simulator is one of those examples where fantastic entertainment is on display. Also, if you have an aspiration to be a pro cricketer then a simulator device will help you for adjusting to the pressure of a large crowd and facing the quick bowlers. Similarly, bowling machines are also one of the high technology for cricketers. Batsmen nowadays can adjust the speed of the ball and do practice to prepare themselves for the challenge ahead.
#10. Ticket Purchasing
Remember when people used to plan for going to the game and not have the tickets. They would have to walk to the window and do struggles to find the space in the parking lot. Those days have now over.
Today, any sporting occasion you want to attend is either the official website of the team or on second-hand sites. This certainly has revolutionized the ability to go to matches and find the exact seat you want to sit in and enjoy the proceedings.
#11. Astonishing Stadiums
In the last few years, we have seen the construction of some beautiful stadiums. Prime examples are Yankee stadiums and cowboy stadiums. These two places have jumbotrons of high definition, and booming sound systems make you feel like you are living on another planet.
Having said that, it enhances the live experience like never before. Cricket stadiums have been revolutionized too. Now indoor stadiums have also been constructed to negate the effects of weather. Moreover, highlights are displayed correctly, nothings get out of sight, and each fan leaves happy whether the team wins or gets defeat. It is undoubtedly an incredible experience that takes the phrase state-of-the-art to a whole new dimension.
#12. Advanced Equipment
We are living in an era where sports equipment is getting better and better. We have traded in rubber and wood for titanium and nylon. In several ways, the equipment used is as crucial as the player using it. Golf clubs and tennis racquets have observed the most significant jump in technological advancements, while there has been an immense influence in every area of the games.
Everything from dry fir shirts to shoes has been separated now and then. There has been a complete revolution that has been seriously good for sports.
#13. Helping us Understanding the Game better
With multiple sports and their intricate rules, there is no reason why we do not need a pointer or two here and there. Technology has done a tremendous job by making it easier to gain knowledge of what is going on in a sport. You get the highlights of the most important things going on.
ESPN Axis is a prime example. They have introduced a revolutionary way to show the complexities of the game. It depicts which player scored, why and who could have stopped it. This way, we as fans, never lost and it provides us with something to look for the next occasion, we switch on to see the match.
#14. Getting the information on the go
Now, you, I and anyone having a smartphone can download various sports applications that make following the game as easy as getting the text messages. Today, a plethora of websites for each sport is available on digital stores. It is now simple to follow scores and to get the expert analysis anywhere.
Informational aspect has forced even casual sports fan to become a sports fanatic; thanks to the technology.
Alan Alaxandar is a blogger by passion that loves to share his knowledge regarding traveling, couponing, shopping, and sports. Currently, he is working as a content marketer for Vouchers Tree and is avidly writing helpful guides and blogs for the website.