August 14, 2018

How biometrics is changing the face of sports for athletes and fans alike

by tpcoto in Xesol Biometrics

Biometrics is becoming more and more common in our daily lives (see “From airports to baseball. The future of Biometrics”). An example of this is the use of different types of biometrics in sports.

The latest application of biometrics in sports are biometric gloves in F1 races with the purpose of monitoring the driver’s physical condition during the race and in the event of an accident. These gloves will transmit data like pulse rate and blood oxygen levels directly from the driver to the medical team to help them better understand the driver’s current state and medical needs post-accident.

The first time the gloves were used was in 2017 during testing and are being used during 2018 F1 races.  Along with other rule changes, the biometric gloves will be obligatory in 2019.

Another example is in Major League Baseball which, in collaboration with CLEAR, will implement biometric ticketing. Fans will use their fingerprints and eventually facial recognition to enter the stadium on game day and printed tickets will not be needed anymore. In addition to biometric ticketing, fans will also be able to pay for food, drinks and even validate their age for alcohol sales using the same method. MLB plans to introduce biometric ticketing for the 2019 season.

London is also applying biometric ticketing for stadium access by using facial recognition technology. AnyVision, who teamed up with NVIDIA to develop this biometric technology aimed at the government sector, will be in charge of providing biometrics to speed up entry at sports stadiums.

Furthermore, biometrics is being used to monitor and improve tennis player performances as well. The biometric sensors measure and analyze technical movements and accelerations. Then, data is shown in an app and stored in a cloud service.

Biometrics has also determined that squash may be the most physically demanding racket sport in the world. This conclusion came after analyzing player heart rates, the distance covered by players during the game, explosive bursts of acceleration and multi-directional movements.

As we can see, biometrics in sports can serve many purposes.  Athlete monitoring through biometric technology is proving to be the most efficient way to improve athlete performance and to monitor physical condition to allow for faster emergency assistance and can also help provide a more seamless experience to fans.