Building a better World Cup team

The US players' jerseys come with built-in sensors that tracks their performance

EDMONTON, AB, Jun 17, 2014/ Troy Media/ – Can you imagine what goes into training for the World Cup?

While it’s no secret that every team, every coach and every player will use whatever technology is available during training to track and monitor their performance progress, you may not realize that tracking does not stop once the game begins.

Although you can’t see it, soccer players for the U.S. team have been outfitted with wearable technology – jerseys that have built-in sensors and a data cell neatly tucked into a hidden pocket at the back of the jersey, right between the shoulder blades.

The technology is part of the Adidas miCoach Elite System that tracks and analyzes heart rate, steps, speed and other data.

The data is then transmitted via a base station to the cloud, where a coach can access it using an iPad to monitor the performance and efficiency of each player.

The benefits, of course, are obvious. For example, if an athlete’s performance is not matching their elevated heart rate – which would normally mean a player is working hard – it could indicate he is more stressed, perhaps because of an injury.

“It allows coaches to help make better decisions,” says Mac Gambill, co-founder and CEO of NudgeYourSelf.com, a health and fitness website. “Having this valuable info at their fingertips can be potential game changers with respect to College and Pro sports, especially with respect to tactical execution.”

“Detailed monitoring can also help with injury prevention,” adds Phil Beene, Nudge’s co-founder and president.

With Adidas’ latest creations pushing the boundaries of wearable technology, both agree that the company has come a long way from the original chip sensors it put in its shoes.

And wearable technology is exploding into the consumer market as well. A number of companies, such as Nike, FitBit, Moves, RunKeeper and Shine, already showcased their gadgets and apps at the 2014 International CES. Others are likely to soon hit the market.

These devices can be a cost effective way to empower professionals and other individuals into making better health decisions based on data. The challenge is that each device collects and interprets data in its own way, making it difficult to compare or share the information.

This is especially true when you try to present this information to doctors who, Beene says, still often base their decisions by asking lifestyle questions.

But while the devices do provide a plethora of data, the data are fragmented and not easily understood by consumers.

This is where Nudge and its app for iOS and Android comes in. It aggregates the data using proprietary algorithms, then indexes it to provide a score (from one to 110), or Nudge Factor, along with visual feedback on your progress with respect to your lifestyle, which you can then share with your friends and family.

The app syncs with many platforms like MapMyFitness, RunKeeper, Moves, Strava, FitBit and Up by Jawbone so that the user can still use the platform or health-tracking device of their choice while leaving the indexing of their data to the app, thereby simplifying their user experience.

Nudge is a free app, available from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Nudge is based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. For more information visit NudgeYourself.com.

Senior Editor Greg Gazin is a Syndicated Veteran Tech Columnist and Small Business and Technology Speaker, Author and Past Toastmasters District Governor. He can be reached at GadgetGuy.CA or on Twitter @gadgetgreg.Why not book Greg to speak at your next event? You can contact him at speakersbureau@troymedia.com.

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