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New IoT tech lets rugby team combine data from multiple wearables

Vodafone has unveiled its player performance dashboard that will be put to the test in 2021

Vodafone has revealed PLAYER.Connect, a performance dashboard that will track the performance, wellbeing and recovery of the British and Irish Lions rugby team in 2021.

Using Internet of Things (IoS) technology, the aim is to help revolutionise how player data is evaluated and used at an elite level.

Currently, the Lions team relies on data being collated and analysed manually for each player after an event, which limits the effectiveness of the information.

PLAYER.Connect however will aggregate data from multiple player wearables into a dashboard in real-time, which will allow data to be analysed and acted upon immediately.

The Lions teams are the first to use this new technology and will adopt the new platform throughout the 2021 tour, including in-game at The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup, and all three Test matches.

The ability to access all the player’s data at any time means that coaches and analysts can optimise player performance and welfare on and off the pitch, as well as live adjustments in-game and during training.

The dashboard combines ‘acute’ GPS, heart rate and impact data, as well as ‘chronic’ data on off-pitch recovery and physical and mental wellbeing.

The main benefit of the IoT wearables is the ability to get the player’s data and information immediately, as prior to this it could take up to two days to collate a whole squad’s data.

PLAYER.Connect claims it can be used effectively across any elite sport, both team and individual, and following a successful deployment on the Lions Tour, Vodafone will be carrying out a review into the future commercial rollout of the dashboard across other elite teams and athletes.

Trusted Take

The world of wearables and professional sports has always seemed like a match made in heaven, but the two worlds haven’t quite ever established a consistent working relationship. Whoop has come closest to getting athletes to sync up their fitness data on one central platform, but Vodafone’s PLAYER.Connect service could be the key to going mainstream as it won’t force players to give us their existing wearables. Watch this space – if the technology is a hit then Vodafone could change fitness tracking as we know it.

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