New device to replace GPS in sports

Melbourne, Sep 24 (IANS) When it comes to recording accurate performance data for elite athletes, GPS technology cannot keep up, a researcher from Griffith University in Australia claims, who has developed an alternate technology.

Jono Neville said while Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are an important tool for workload management, the devices have limitations when it comes to changes in speed and direction and when they are used indoors, due to their reliance on external satellites.

“When it comes to frequent and rapid changes in speed and distance, GPS just doesn’t cut it, although it’s still the most widely used technology,” Neville said.

“We have found a data processing technique which allows us to extract data from an athlete and create an individualised model,” he added.

Neville said his technology will be key in monitoring training and game workloads.

The device, developed at SABEL Labs in Griffith University, and called SABEL Sense, comes at a time when sporting organisations are considering their options.

Neville said he compared inertial sensor data with GPS data, collected simultaneously from Brisbane Lions AFL players during 2009, to create a model which was highly accurate for running speeds.

“This will assist in preventing things such as over-training, which is a major concern for elite athletes, to reduce risk of injury,” the engineer explained.

Individualised models are created automatically using SABEL Sense technology which can then be used to track speeds and distances.

The technology was described online in Sensors Journal.

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