Thursday, March 7, 2013

‘Smart Ball’ and app help soccer players improve their game

Improving professional sports performance these days is aided by rigorous health and training regimes informed by lots of information about the individual athlete. We’ve already seen the 94Fifty bring smartphone-enabled data collection and analysis to basketball, and now the adidas Smart Ball aims to do the same for soccer. Developed by a team of researchers and engineers over the past three years, the ball is fitted with an accelerometer and magnetometer to accurately determine what’s happening when it’s hit – such as impact location, distance, spin and trajectory. The ball can be connected to mobile devices via Bluetooth to give coaches more information about their players’ performances. Players can set the device in one of four modes. Kick It analyzes their strike technique, Get Better offers real-time feedback during training, Challenge gets users to complete tasks and Record Book enables players to save kicks for later analysis. The ball will also be compatible with existing adidas miCoach products.

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