It is hard to imagine any aspect of our lives where technology hasn’t brought about a paradigm shift. Sports is no exception and we have so far witnessed wide use of technology in broadcast and bringing sports closer to their fans.
However, the last few years have seen intense activity wherein startups are redefining the experience for the fans, making sports safer and competitive for the sportsperson. From betting sites offering in-depth perspectives on live games to AI and Big Data offering a better perspective on the game, we have seen lots over the last few years.
Sports tech startups are attracting millions of dollars in VC funding given the opportunities they promise for the investors.
There are some indications that this industry is likely to reach a valuation of $30 billion by 2024 given the phenomenal pace at which we are seeing fast adoption of technology across different sporting disciplines. For fans and sportsmen, this would signal more competition, safety, and overall higher levels of interaction and entertainment.
Here’s a list of startups to watch in the sports tech industry:
Alpha Fiber: As sports become intense and competitive the risk for the athletes have also increased. We have seen several career-ending injuries and even fatalities in the last few years. Concussion has become a serious concern and multiple head injuries can often lead to neurological damage.
Alpha Fiber, a US-based startup has brought out a real-time head impact monitoring solution. It uses live cameras instead of headwear as was the case in the past and hence this technology can be applied to sports even when the sportsperson does not wear helmets.
Fevo: Ever wanted to sit amongst your friends and colleagues in the stands while cheering up for your team? This UK based startup was smart enough to solve one of the smallest yet serious problems for sports fans.
While e-ticketing apps let you book your ticket from anywhere Fevo encourages social sales where you can invite friends and colleagues to book tickets for the same event and pay separately. We wonder why no other company thought about the same in the past.
Rezzil: This startup based out of the UK has brought virtual reality (VR) to football training and this technology is expected to make inroads into other sports in the future. With Rezzil players can achieve high levels of mental agility while training and recovering from injuries.
Players can put themselves through custom training scenarios based on their individual and team goals. The VR program allows players to measure their situational awareness without having to sweat it out in the open. EPL teams including Liverpool and Manchester City are among its present clients.
Vokalo: Sports wearables aren’t a new thing but this company from Denmark has pushed the technology to its limits. Their sports wearables are meant to improve player-coach communication during training sessions.
Instead of coaches needing to stop the training midway to communicate their feedback and correct the trainees on their mistakes, this wearable technology allows coaches to share their thoughts in real-time.
ShotTracker: This is a US-based company that offers real-time stats for basketball players. With this sensor-based system statistics and analytics are made available to the coaches, fans, and broadcasters during any game.
This enhances the experience for the fans as well as helps teams analyze their performances and improve their game. There are 70+ unique stats available that offers deep insights into the game. The solution is powered by AR (Augmented Reality) that takes the on-court experience to a new level.
Dozens of other sports tech ideas are taking shape and being fine-tuned around the world. With AI, Big Data, and other technologies set to shape our lives in the future, we are likely to see improved performances on the field and better experiences for the fans.