Once upon a time, sports equipment was made only materials like pigskin, cowhide, and wood – common, every day, low-tech stuff. Those days are gone. Today’s bats, clubs, balls, and shoes have a new high-tech ingredient. According to POSQuote.Com , The technology behind your favorite sporting goods is most likely silicon in the form of accelerometers, microcontrollers, gyroscopes, transceivers, and memory chips. The new technology helps players to hone their game by gathering data on speed, power, and form, among many other metrics.
The popularity of products like wearable tech and smart watches is on the rise. In fact, this market is expected to reach $10 billion in revenue in the next three years. With more people than ever wearing smart products, sports equipment manufacturers are becoming really popular.
Bikes and Treadmills
More and more stationary bikes and treadmills are compatible with Bluetooth devices. This integration allows users to import biometric data and read workout stats more accurately. This kind of workout equipment provides a more complex, individualized reading for an enhanced fitness experience.
Even amateur athletes are beginning to invest in training-specific products to be used outside of game time. Training equipment helps them target certain areas they wish to improve and train smarter.
For example, lighter soccer balls let players practice headers without risking injury. Once they’ve mastered head shots, they can use a regular ball on the field. Other products, like an at-home batting cage net, make it simpler for everyone from pros to newbies to practice in the backyard without breaking any windows. Specialized equipment helps sports players hone their skills and perform better on the field.
Athletic leisure and more specialized fitness clothes mandate fitness brands step things up a bit. We’ve heard of compression, but we hadn’t heard of athletic clothes, which apparently are a thing now. Reactive clothing includes thermal and moisture-wicking fabrics. These fabrics react to changes in your body temperature. For instance, moisture wicking materials sense when your body is getting warm and damp. It reacts by pushing the sweat outward to evaporate instead of absorbing it.
Manufacturers are beginning to include these materials in different athletic wear, such as shirts, shorts, and socks. Specialized workout clothes make it easier to live an active lifestyle no matter what the weather is like.
Bringing Tech Development In-House
Dick’s Sporting Goods introduced the trend of bringing software development in-house instead of approaching third-party tech vendors, Forbes magazine writes. The goal of this approach is to give the retailer the ability to create and control solutions that fulfill their specific business needs and, in turn, put them in the position of competitive advantage over rival retailers.
The company’s decision to handle its own software was a controversial move. In fact, many thought the strategy was not apt.
“Becoming a software developer when you have no core competency in it will distract from being a retailer,” wrote Phil Masiello, CEO of Hound Dog Digital Agency. “There is no competitive advantage to be gained from this initiative. Too many great development teams are already building systems far beyond what Dick’s can think of.”
“It is a brave or foolish man who believes he knows better than everyone else,” wrote Andrew Blatherwick, chairman emeritus at Relex Solutions. “I thought most retailers had grown out of this some years ago. Technology moves too fast, especially in the dynamic world of retail.”
“After decades in this business, I belong to the school that says: unless you have devised the better mouse trap, and no commercially-available software comes close to supporting your need, buy it!” wrote Bob Amster, principal at Retail Technology Group.
Tech CEO of the company Gaffney, who launched a similar effort at Home Depot (where he worked before joining Dick’s), started with getting his team to tackle the retailer’s inventory management system. The purpose of the program, which is about halfway done, is to create a system that would earn at least 10-times in annual revenue the cost of the eight-person team that developed it.
Mr. Gaffney and team are planning a complete overhaul of Dick’s e-commerce platforms before the end of the year, including how products are displayed online and how search, checkout and shipping estimates operate.
Dick’s claims its tech development systems are enabling the retailer to be more responsive to its customers and internal stakeholders, as well. Apparently, a lot of companies can now list new merchandise online within 30-minutes of breaking news, such as a team winning a championship. This took up to a week to happen previously.
Technology has revolutionized the way, in which we can design apparel and equipment. From pads, helmets, and gloves to shoes and uniforms, sporting equipment is now more high-tech and high-functioning. The experience of attending a sporting event is very different, too. Fans have access to wireless internet, scoreboards are now high-definition, and recreational devices like batting cages and hitting machines have become more popular.
The growth of tech has provided a convenient opportunity to athletes to be able to improve their skill. Now, teams can view and analyze videos of themselves in action and can learn to make their technique and form better. These technologies assist coaches and athletes in viewing the plays and motions of the game. The same technology can be used to watch how your opponents play.
Smart helmets are one of the biggest improvements in sporting tech. With concussions harming health and damaging the sport, something had to be done to improve the protection of athletes. New helmet technology offers inbuilt magnet and sensor tech, which is able to detect and disperse force, thus minimizing the changes of head injury. What is more, the magnets themselves play a role in displacing the force of impact. When an impact happens, the helmet communicates to the coach that the player has been hit. This way, the coach can intervene at once in completing concussion diagnoses. Tech is improving players’ well-being and making sports better for the fans.