Sports Tech + Mobile: Precision exercise augmented by mobile apps

by mcampbell on June 18, 2012

Accelerometers were added to smart phones to support screen rotation and shaking. GPS capability was added to support mapping and navigation. Combined, they can provide data to enable innovative exercise applications: the accelerometers can act as pedometers and the GPS capability can track the user’s jogging distances. Analytics can create an assessment of performance over time.





Sports equipment has also taken advantage of the new possibilities presented by mobile. Mobile devices on bicycles are able to obtain and store trip information, and can be used to keep the cyclist on course. Even stationary cardiovascular and resistance training equipment can be augmented. Mobile apps can store workout profiles to establish your exercise settings and maintain workout records. Physical response, such as heart rate and breathing rate can also be measured. But in the world of mobile, this is old news …

Research is underway to create professional-grade applications that can measure specific movement and optimize exercise. Additional sensors are employed, and movement can be measured at various points of the body: the acceleration, force, power, vector, repetitions, and duration. This data is combined to give the athlete a picture of how they are performing at discrete points in their workout. These mobile applications can give value to a wide range of sports requiring precision movement, poise, strength, and/or endurance. Best of all, these measurements can be performed in the field during routine training.

The mobile electronic ‘big-brother’ has the potential to take performance training, and competitive coaching, to a whole new level.


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