Connected glasses and electric suits: the future of wearables | Top stories

Connected glasses and electric suits: the future of wearables

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Wearable technology is a key part of his training program. When he plays basketball, tennis, runs marathons, or competes in wheelchair races, he wears a smartwatch. In the pool, Lucio wears FORM Smart swim goggles.

Worn like normal goggles, the Smart Swim Goggles feature an augmented reality heads-up display that lets you track your progress as you swim, letting you know your speed, distance, and biometrics like heart rate .

“Technology like smart glasses really help me keep track of my times, my metrics and help me progress in my training,” says Lucio. “The glasses really help me pursue my goals as a paratriathlete.”

Athletes are increasingly using wearable technology to push the limits of human capability. These devices are designed to provide an objective means of recording physical performance, turning professional sports into a calculable science.

“The potential for realizing this new technology is incredible,” says Lucio. “If you can track your performance down to the millisecond, understand and correct your form, there’s no excuse not to push yourself.”

He believes professional athletes will be able to reach new levels of accomplishment with the help of wearables. “Records are going to be broken using this technology,” Lucio told CNN. “I think you’re going to see the limits pushed and you’re going to see a lot less injury.”

Keeping the best athletes in the world on the field

Wearable technology is not only used to improve individual performance. Catapult One allows coaches to monitor the performance and health of their teams’ players, using a smart vest, monitoring module and associated app to reduce the risk of injury.

The company says the technology is used by many English Premier League teams and all NFL teams in the United States.

“With wearable devices, that data is now really at the micro level of what’s going on,” says Will Lopes, CEO of Catapult Sports. “What he’s doing is really comparing what’s going on physiologically inside an athlete.”

For coaches, it can be the difference between understanding a player’s physical limits and exceeding them and risking injury.

“Fatigue is a good example,” he adds. “You really want to have objective data points to understand, ‘Have I overtrained an athlete?’

“The fact that you have big stars like Tom Brady and Neymar playing much longer in their careers than they would have just 20, 30 years ago, it’s really because the science program allows them really to stay on the pitch longer, to be healthier for longer.”

The future of sport is smart

Simon Barbour is an expert in sports performance analysis at Loughborough University, UK. “Wearable technology in sports can give a non-invasive form of data collection and an accurate representation of what is happening in a game or event,” he says. “Essentially, you are able to capture multiple sets of data without directly interfering with the athlete’s performance.”

Read: From robot football to speedgate, these sports of the future already exist

“In terms of the scale of wearable technology use, every elite athlete and sports team uses wearable technology because it can be the difference between winning and losing,” adds Barbour.

Among the most exciting innovations in the field is the TESLASUIT (which is not connected to the automaker) – a full body smart suit that captures both motion and biometrics and provides haptic feedback to the wearer. For example, if it detects that a boxer is throwing punches with poor technique, it will deliver an electrical pulse to let them know.

Boxer Ben Stanoff, right, says training in clothes like TESLASUIT will create a new way of training for the next generation of athletes.

Las Vegas-based Australian professional boxer Ben Stanoff, 26, has tried it and believes wearable technology like the TESLASUIT could give boxers a crucial edge in their training to take them to champion level.

Athletes can replay workouts where they wore the suit, and the addition of a VR headset creates an immersive environment to review session techniques.

“You can’t train a lot – but wearing this suit you can go home and go through the whole workout in your mind, watching it on a screen, but with this virtual reality, and it’s just going to do all the difference,” Stanoff says. “I think that’s the future of training.”

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