Olympians Harness Bluetooth Technology
This year’s Olympic Games in Rio were more than just a sporting event. It was a technology showcase featuring the latest and greatest innovations, including Bluetooth beacons and a wide variety of wearables. The US Olympic Committee’s Director of Technology and Innovation, Mounir Zok, even called the 2016 Olympic Games “the first wearable technology games.” Cutting-edge technologies from smart eye wear to wearable payment devices amplified the Olympic experience for both attendees and Olympians. While these high-tech additions transformed user experiences at the games, advancements in Bluetooth technology will continue to overhaul experiences like this even further in the years to come.
Olympians Training with Bluetooth Wearables
Athletes trained tirelessly for the 2016 Olympic Games using Bluetooth connected wearables to track progress that could only be "guesstimated" otherwise. The US cycling team used Solos smart cycling glasses to pull metrics such as heart rate, distance, cadence, and average speed from Bluetooth connected devices to offer real-time feedback on cycling performance. The US and Canadian boxing teams placed Hysko sensors inside fighters’ hand wraps to calculate the number of thrown punches, as well as type and speed of punches. The US women’s volleyball team trained with the Vert Wearable Jump Monitor to track height, distance and number of jumps.
Before the introduction of wearables, coaches and trainees measured performance by watching hundreds of hours of slow motion video, tediously recording trends and improvements. Bluetooth connected wearables deliver tremendous value by providing real-time information that allows them to adjust their speed or cadence to match indications from their coach. Bluetooth 5, expected to roll out at the end of this year, will introduce higher speeds to improve the functionality of wearables, delivering richer data, faster. This empowers athletes and fitness enthusiasts with the capacity to quickly and efficiently download days’ worth of data from their fitness devices in one sitting.
Wearables Market Growing Because of Bluetooth
Beyond the Olympics, wearables are proliferating in the mass consumer market, even being offered as toys in McDonald’s Happy Meals. Global research firm IDC reports worldwide shipments of wearable devices are expected to reach 110 million by the end of 2016, and that these shipments will surpass 200 million by 2019. This surge in wearables growth can be attributed to a number of factors, but the low energy functionality and low cost of Bluetooth technology are crucial drivers. Internet of Things growth coupled with Bluetooth connected wearables will change the future of sports even more drastically, turning competitors into “cyber athletes” and turning sporting judges into objective spectators. Many companies are already making a bold impact on professional athletes with Bluetooth technology. One example is Rithmio, a company that provides motion recognition software for wearables and connected clothing. By implementing the latest Bluetooth technology in its products, Rithmio is making strides toward transforming the way athletes train around the globe.
From plastic wearables in McDonald’s Happy Meals to high-tech Bluetooth clothing that reports on complex biometrics, the world of fitness wearables is growing at an insurmountable rate. If you’re one in six consumers who currently owns and uses wearable tech, buckle up...Bluetooth is going to make your experience a whole lot better.