Here’s what you need to know right now about the fitness industry.
1. NBA bans wearable activity tracker at games.
The National Basketball Association recently banned Whoop, a wearable made by a Boston-based startup from being worn by players during competitions. Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Matthew Dellavedova wore the tracker for 15 games this season before the league decided that it would not continue to allow the device to be worn during games. Whoop calls itself “the performance optimization system that empowers athletes and teams to perform better and win more.” It measures athletes’ sleep patterns, recovery and muscle strain by tracking heart rate, skin conductivity, motion and ambient temperature with the goal of limiting injury.
Whoop is used by athletes on teams across all other major U.S professional sports leagues, as well as by Olympians training for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Some have speculated that the NBA moved to ban the device for safety concerns as well as uncertainty over who has the rights to the data measured by the device.
2. Adidas is providing thousands of students with wearable devices.
In a partnership with Interactive Health Technologies, Adidas has decided to bring fitness analytics to schoolchildren across the nation. The wearable, called Adidas Zone, is a basic fitness tracker that measures heart rate with software provided by IHT. Their goal is to mass produce the devices and provide them to PE classes to make it easier for PE teachers to record and track information about the health of individual students.
Since revealing plans at CES 2015, IHT has run trial programs at dozens of middle schools and high schools in the country, with almost 600,000 students getting connected over the last year.
3. MLB approves wearable tech to track strain placed on pitchers’ elbows.
Major League Baseball has moved to approve the use of the Motus Baseball Sleeve and Zephyr Bioharness by athletes during games. The Motus Baseball Sleeve measures stress placed on pitchers’ elbows while pitching, and the Zephyr Bioharness is used to measure the breathing and heart rates of players on the field. While the data won’t be available for coaches to access during games, the data can be analyzed following each contest.
Though the MLB Players Association has expressed fears like privacy violations or the fact that the data collected by the devices could be used against players during contract negotiations, the additional data will likely prove to be a net positive for the league if used responsibly.
Know what else you need to know? The biggest trends in fitness tech for 2016. Check out our10 Tech Trends in 2016guide to get in the loop.