NCAA Championship Leverages Wearable Tech for First Time

By Ken Briodagh December 21, 2015

Wearable Tech is perhaps the most likely part of the IoT to have a major impact on sports, and it’s starting to become part of the game.

At the recent NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship, VERTcast, a sports telemetry system used with VERT, a wearable jump monitoring device, showcased players’ jump height data in real-time on the ESPN2 broadcast, which provided quite an enhancement to match entertainment for viewers and fans.

“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, Founder and President, VERT.

Players wore the VERT, a non-invasive and discrete inertial measurement unit (IMU), on their waists during gameplay. The system reported measurements of jump counts and heights. These measurements were sent to the VERT software architecture, and they were monitored by coaches and student athletes during use.

“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, ESPN & SEC Network.

The semi-finals took place Dec. 17 at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska. The system was used in the University of Kansas v. University of Nebraska and the University of Minnesota v the University of Texas games. Then the championship game was played Dec. 19.

“The University of Minnesota already uses VERT technology, and it's an integral part of our program. It's been a great way to monitor workload and intensity, and there's no question it's helped our athletes train and compete more effectively," said Hugh McCutcheon, Head Coach, University of Minnesota.

Looks like everyone wins. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Editorial Director

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