How IoT Wearable Tech Makes Us Better Skiers/Snowboarders

There are few industries that haven’t yet felt the effect of the Internet of Things, and the sports/fitness sector surely isn’t one of them. When IoT and wearable devices initially emerged, one of the first industries to jump headfirst into using the technology was the sports industry.

As wearable devices continue to permeate organizations across the globe, it’s an opportune time to take a look at just how they’re being utilized and the impact the IoT is having as a whole. As a business based in the Rocky Mountains, we were particularly interested in the benefits gained from wearables in winter sports.

Advancements in winter sports technology

“Wearables make it easy for athletes to view their progress without taking their eyes off their path.”

Winter sports like skiing and snowboarding have become increasingly popular among enthusiasts and novices across nearly every age range. If you’ve hit the slopes recently, chances are good that you might have also noticed a rise in technology usage, and this goes beyond just using a smartphone-enabled fitness tracker.

Today’s winter sports athletes have an array of innovative technology at their fingertips, and many of these advancements are directly supported by the IoT and wearable device systems. A few examples include:

  • Boot sensors: Sensors are an integral part of wearable technology, and this ski boot sensor from PIQ is a prime example of this type of advanced solution in action. Digital Trends noted that this lightweight wearable helps skiers get a more in-depth look at their activity on the slopes, including jumps, distance, speed and a range of other athletic statistics.
  • Augmented reality goggles: Virtual and augmented reality are big business these days, especially within sports settings. These RideOn Goggles allow winter sports lovers to track their distance, jump height and speed, and put this information in an augmented reality overlay. This makes it easy for athletes to view their progress without taking their eyes off their path.”Heading down the slope looks like a first-person video game as you hit checkpoints and aim for a high score,” Digital Trends contributor Aliya Barnwell described.What could be more fun than that?
  • The smartest t-shirt: Tracking activity is a main objective of many winter sports wearables, and this shirt from Hexoskin Arctic is no different. However, as a pivotal piece of gear, this wearable also helps maintain your body heat and can even transfer sweat to prevent freezing. Because it can also track breathing, heart rate and other physical activity metrics, it’s one of our favorite new wearables for winter sports enthusiasts.

This only scratches the surface when it comes to IoT and wearable technology advancements in cold weather athletics. For more innovations, check out this list from IOT Business.

How the Austrian Alpine Snowboard Team leverages wearables
Utilizing wearables and analyzing physical activity metrics have become prime capabilities, especially for winter sports professionals like the Austrian Alpine Snowboard Team. I was fortunate enough to join the team at the World Cup Events training event in Colorado. Austrian Alpine and coach Ingemar Walder joined teams from 50 other countries at Copper Mountain, and in addition to taking advantage of Colorado’s famous snowfalls, the team also leveraged technological systems to help with their training.

Walder told us that his snowboarders wear Polar and Garmin watches that work alongside heart rate monitoring belts. These wearable devices measure each athlete’s heart rate and pulse, and also provide a wealth of other details that have proven to be invaluable for the team’s training efforts.

“They get information about distance, altitude, speed, number of runs and much more,” Walder said. “They get to see from the heart rate how fast they recover from the runs they do. This is very important for us, especially in our sport, to make them fast during a race.”

The Austrian Alpine Snowboarding Team uses wearable devices to track each athlete's distance, speed and completed runs. The Austrian Alpine Snowboarding Team uses wearable devices to track each athlete’s distance, speed and completed runs.

With this level of data on their side, the Austrian Alpine Snowboard Team can better view their progress, and work on training in specific areas at an individual level. This isn’t just beneficial for each athlete, but helps propel the team as a whole.

Walder also noted that he is looking forward to further technological advancements in winter sports, including sensors being placed directly within the start and finish lines of courses. This would make it easier to capture data on a wearable device, as well as a connected IoT application.

“It will make it easier for us to get all the data from the athletes and from the timing itself,” Walder explained.

A home for IoT and wearable device data
As more devices and innovations in winter sports take place, the amount of data accessible to athletes and their coaches will only increase. Especially for winter sports professionals, being able to view current and historical information will be incredibly beneficial to the training process.

This means that usage of IoT and wearable devices doesn’t stop at each endpoint. The data collected via these wearable systems is stored in a data center somewhere.

Colocation data centers can offer the scalable, protected virtual environment that users of wearable and IoT devices require. With this level of support in place, winter sports enthusiasts – and everyone leveraging these types of solutions in any industry – can ensure security and accessibility.

“Colos can help customers make the right investments in new and upgraded solutions to support an IoT strategy, from data-collection points to data aggregation to capacity management and planning,” Data Center Journal contributor Mark Bidinger wrote.

In this way, as the IoT and wearable market advances, colocation providers will continually be able to address needs for storage and analysis environments. To find out more about how colocation support can provide a home for your IoT and wearable device data, contact the experts at FORTRUST today.

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