Major enterprises and billionaires agree: Wearable technology is worth investing in. In the case of the former, there are plenty of examples, such as Intel’s (News - Alert) entry into the wearable tech market earlier this year. As for the latter, the latest example is that of technology entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban who recently signed a deal to buy a stake in wearable tech start-up Catapult Sports.
Based in Australia, Catapult Sports is currently the world’s biggest provider of GPS tracking devices for professional athletes. These devices, which can be worn under jerseys or shoulder pads, are becoming increasingly popular among sports scientists and coaches to measure player movement and fatigue during games or training. This even includes tracking how quickly an athlete accelerates or how their heart changes.
Catapult started out with only a few Australian Football League (AFL) players as clients, but has since added the Dallas Cowboys and major Italian soccer club AC Milan to that list. Other noteworthy clients include the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers — its first ice hockey team — and Cuban’s own Dallas Mavericks.
Obviously, it is this last client that has proven most important to Catapult’s future as the Mavericks helped catch the eye of Cuban, who seems to believe strongly in the benefits of wearable tech in sports. In a e-mail to AFR Weekend, he stated that wearable analytics will prove a “critical advantage in pro sports,” as they will make “teams smarter and keep players on the court more.”
Terms of Cuban’s investment in Catapult have not been disclosed, but it has been speculated that his investment is worth “only a few million dollars” by Business Review Weekly, which amounts to a stake of less than five percent. Still, if Catapult was to consider undertaking an initial public offering later this year, the investment will go a long way.
Catapult’s devices are worn in a harness under a player’s clothes and are able to monitor over 100 parameters, including distance, velocity, changes in direction, heart rate, acceleration and deceleration.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker
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