2012
04.20

This summer, soccer fans will bear witness to what’s being called the world’s first “smart” soccer match. Curious? So was I. I’ve not only heard about, but have used, all kinds of connected fitness devices to track miles run, miles biked, and miles hiked … but these are geared toward tracking an individual’s statistics and meeting individual goals. Might this smart soccer match be the first step toward what’s next in connected sports tech—team tracking?

On July 25, adidas and MLS (Major League Soccer) say the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game in Philadelphia will debut the micoach tracking system for professional soccer teams. The system will provide performance metrics for each player on the field, in realtime. This includes things like position, speed, acceleration, and distance covered, along with what adidas is calling power output, intensity of play, and GPS heat mapping.

Having this quantifiable data at their fingertips, coaches will be better equipped to make personnel decisions based on a player’s actual performance metrics. When aggregated, a coaching staff can take a look at each match and analyze players’ performance, then identify what can be improved.

The system has been undergoing testing with multiple professional-level soccer teams in the U.S. and in Europe. It really is banking on what Connected World touts all the time—realtime data can make just about anything better, including soccer!

Interestingly, this is not adidas’ first foray into soccer. It already offers a “smart cleat,” called the adizero f50 micoach, which has an accelerometer foot pod hidden away in the sole that can wirelessly transmit data to a Web portal or smartphone app. For the nonprofessional soccer team, this connected shoe means you too could hold a “connected” match—if you can afford to equip your team with the technology.

adidas says after the micoach professional soccer team tracking system debuts at the MLS All-Star Game this summer, it will be rolled out globally in the coming seasons. I’m looking forward to seeing exactly how the system works. It seems this is just the beginning of how connected devices and technologies will reshape how we play and watch sports in a connected world.

Make sure to check out all the panels we’ll be offering at this year’s Connected World Conference, many of which will delve into the different ways connected devices will change the way consumers go about their everyday lives. We’ll be talking about GPS tracking devices, connected health and fitness products, what it takes to develop game-changing devices for consumers, and much, much more.

We’ll even be giving away cool stuff, like a connected photo frame, some tablets, a GPS-enabled video camera, sports watches, a smart thermostat, and much more. Come see us June 11-13 in St. Charles, Ill.: http://connectedworldmag.com/conference/index.php?q=Register-Now

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