For the first time, wearable technology is coming to a major sporting event, and all of the data will be available for public viewing. VERTcast, a sports telemetry device (similar to popular fitness wearables like the Fitbit and Jawbone), will be worn by all members of the teams competing in the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship Tournament, the first time that such a technology has been universally put into use on such a scale. Even more exciting, the data from these wearables, which track data like amount of jumps, average height and hang time, will be displayed in real time during the television broadcasts on ESPN2.
The data that will be gathered from VERTcast will better put into perspective for both casual and passionate fans the skill demonstrated by these student athletes. "We are looking forward to incorporating the data that VERT aggregates into our coverage of the NCAA championship in order to better educate the volleyball fandom on the true athleticism of these student athletes along with the incredible stamina it takes to play this beautiful game," said Meg Aronowitz, coordinating producer at ESPN (News - Alert) & SEC Network. VERTcast provides just one more level of insight into the sport of volleyball.
The use of VERTcast could represent a great precedent for the use of wearable technologies in sports. This technology has already been used during the NFL and NBA scouting combines to track athlete performance, but VERTcast’s work opens up the possibility that this sort of tracking could be incorporated into live game action. Tracking average in game speed, power, and other metrics, and incorporating them into live coverage of sporting events can give fans just one more level of insight into the games they already love.
VERTcast and the NCAA have partnered to bring the use of technology in sports to the next level. "This is a big milestone for the wearable tech space, proving that the adoption of wearable tech in the game is a growing trend and will eventually be a vital component in ensuring injury prevention and more effective fan engagement," said Martin Matak (News - Alert), founder and president of VERT. Where it goes from here will be an exciting development to watch.
Edited by Kyle Piscioniere
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