Whatever you like to do, recent changes in technology have affected all areas of sport. Competitive ball-sports are relying more and more on computers to make tough calls when the human eye just can’t be relied upon to be accurate – even the trained eye of the umpire. With more leisure-based and endurance sports, it’s become possible to make materials lighter to allow players or riders to increase their speed and stamina. Keep up to date with the changes in your sport, and make the most of all the opportunities there are to improve your play.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that the equipment doesn’t make the player – it’s always more important to practice regularly – but that’s not to say you should let your competitors get an edge over you. Find out the direction your sport is heading in with these eight technological improvements.
These Boots Are Made for Football
That’s just what they do – the competition is on for the main sports brands to come up with the best football boot. Nike has added two new innovations to their boots – firstly, there’s the Nike All Conditions enhancement, which is being used on of all of Nike’s boots now. A special treatment is applied to the outside of these boots so that ideal levels of friction between the ball and boot are maintained despite variations in the weather. For example, the rain no longer has to mean any less control for the player. Their other innovation is the NikeSkin system which allows for increased ball control, which they claim gives players the same amount of control as if they were playing with bare feet. The mesh is also breathable, and the boots made with this feature also have the ‘All Conditions’ treatment applied to them.
Puma boots are made with the Everfit Cage, which supports the midfoot with an internal brace. They’re also made with a lightweight, breathable material. Meanwhile, Adidas boots are using HYBRIDTOUCH technology. They’re made from a lightweight synthetic leather that’s also tougher and more durable than standard leather, which means the shape of the boot won’t change so much as they wear. If you’re looking for a way to improve your ball control, or you’re sick of the weather being your Achilles heel, then you’ll appreciate the technology which will allow football players to keep improving their performance.
Watch Out for Golf GPS Watches
A new piece of tech is changing the game of golf permanently. Look out for GPS watches on the green, and you’ll see how they’re revolutionizing the way people are playing golf. These watches speed up the game in a number of ways, and allow you to make better choices. They’re able to use GPS to map out the course for you which means that you don’t have to spend so long studying the course when you arrive – you can also look up the course before you even get there. Are you always forgetting a pad or a pen? It won’t be a problem anymore because your golf GPS watch will keep your score for you. The only thing it can’t do is hit the ball or transport your clubs. However, it can calculate your distance for you, so you always have the right information to choose the best club for the shot. Wondering how to choose the best golf GPS watches to give you all the information you need for a speedy and sophisticated game? It’s important to do your research if you want the right watch for you, since there’re many competing brands with different features for you to choose from.
Keep Your Eye on the Cricket Ball
The game of cricket has already changed as new technology has been introduced, and the accuracy of the umpire’s judgments are the key area for new technology. For example, International Cricket now includes a third umpire who isn’t on the ground like the other two – the third umpire has access to TV replays for disputed catches and boundaries, and they can keep in contact with the other two with wireless technology. This has changed the game a lot, since players are now allowed chances to dispute the on-ground umpires’ decisions and refer to the third umpire – although they aren’t allowed more than three unsuccessful challenges.
Hawkeye technology is also now used to track the trajectory of the ball after it has bounced. It accurately indicates where the ball hit the batsman in an LBW scenario by comparing the ball’s trajectory before and after it bounces off the ground, and it can calculate whether or not it was on track to hit the wickets. This is another piece of technology that assists the umpire, improving the accuracy of the decisions made in the game, making it fairer and so that less time needs to be spend on disputed decisions.
Surfers Will Never Lose Their Headcam
Aside from the quality of the materials the boards and wetsuits are made from, which are always being innovated, the biggest technological change to surfing has been the headcam. This gives surfers new ways of sharing their experiences underneath the white water or within the barrel, and it also gives them something to do when they aren’t surfing. They can see what went wrong on a particular wave, and they can improve their technique without relying too much on the memory of what happened since everything seems to move more quickly when you’re riding a wave. With a headcam, you can monitor your progress like a professional.
You’ve Been Served a Tennis Innovation
The Shot Stats Challenger is a handy piece of tech that attaches to your strings. On the one hand, it serves as a vibration dampener, so more power goes into your serve, while on the other hand it calculates and stores your personal tennis stats. It measures several aspects of your play, from the time you’re spending on the court to the speed of your racket head at the point of impact, to the number and different type of shots taken, to the amount of spin on the ball, to the point of impact on the racket. Whatever you need to know about your game, the Shot Stats Challenger gives you all the tools you need to fully reflect on your play and to develop a strategy to improve.
You can also connect the device to your phone via Bluetooth, so you can use or store your stats in whatever way you like. Also, the device can tell you when your play isn’t up to its usual standard. Whether you’re pro already, or you just take your game seriously, the Shot Stats Challenger has only just begun to have an effect on the way tennis is played. As the technology advances, there’s no limit to the advances.
Who’s in the Formula One Driver seat?
Formula One racing has embraced the autonomous car, and they’re considering the use of a driverless safety car. Currently, the safety car joins the formula one cars on the track for the opening test lap, or when there are dangerous conditions. Many people within the industry see it as an opportunity to demonstrate the safety of autonomous cars and reduce scepticism, making formula one more relevant to the people watching. There’s also talk of racing being done by autonomous cars in the future, which would reduce safety concerns and allow more risks to be taken. A company called Roborace has performed some prototype races, but there’s still a long way to go before autonomous cars become a common sight, since full blown autonomous races are still not feasible. The future of the application of technology is uncertain in formula one, but work is going into the possibility, and it won’t be long before we can see some results.
It’s All Part of a Cycle
Technology wise, there’s a lot of movement within cycling – but much of this can be explained by the different types of bikes, which all have different requirements. Disk brakes have been around longer than people think, as they were dropped in favour of V brakes years ago, but they’ve recently become fashionable for mountain bikers. Many road bikes have taken to running on tubeless tyres like cars, which is a development, and there’s also been an increase in speedometer and GPS tracking technology for cyclists to monitor their cycling and study their routes. Some bikes have dropped gears, having only one or two speeds to save on weight, while others have increased their number of speeds by making the gears lighter. There are also partly motorised cycles that charge as you pedal them so that you can use the motor to get up tough hills, or that contain a dynamo in the wheel which charges the lights. Bikes may look completely different in a few years, as technology continues to shape how they are made and used, but for now, the tech has generally been type-specific. For example, road bikes can be made of a variety of materials now, like carbon fibre, whereas BMXs still tend to be made from steel, for strength.