Daily Archives: January 4, 2012

Every piece of sporting equipment will be instrumented soon

“Rich writes about his biking obsession”:http://www.tongfamily.com/archives/2012/01/bike-bike-bike/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bike-bike-bike, I had no idea that you could get power-sensing pedals those days. Guys at Cornell are putting “accelerometers in golf clubs”:http://arxiv.org/abs/1001.0956. Many many groups have put accelerometers in football helmets to study concussions. The NFL is “discussing sensors in balls”:http://scientificathlete.wordpress.com/2011/12/07/sensors-built-into-footballs-could-render-instant-replay-obsolete/.

Given the continued reductions in cost, size, and power needs of sensors, you have to believe that every piece of sporting equipment will be instrumented in the near future. Balls will report their speeds and acceleration, clubs and rackets will report forces applied and where the ball hit, helmets will report impact data and alert coaches as to when players should be pulled off the field. The NFL will know exactly and definitively when a touchdown is scored, when a first down is achieved. Pro sports will use this technology to protect players, to drive even more stats and on-screen graphics and in-stadium pageantry. Recreational equipment providers will use this to sell more gear and better instruction — enthusiasts will buy anything that will improve their game. Youth sports will use this to protect players — parents will spend on child safety.