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Sports Applications Technology

Catapult to Introduce New Indoor GPS Tracking Sensors for Athletes

January 31, 2013

(SPORTS TECHNOLOGY)

Anyone who is a former athlete tries to live by the mantra “play every play like it’s your last.” That’s all good and well, but we’d be lying if we said we have never taken it easy in practice a time or two. Well, an Australian-based company is making sure that coaches can track an athlete’s every move, down to his/her heartbeat to make sure that athlete is performing up to his or her standards.

"Are they lazy? Can we get them to work harder? Those are the things they get excited about," said Igor van de Griendt, Catapult co-founder. "It is the ability to measure things and put their own spin on it." 

Catapult Sports, based out of Melbourne, announced that the outdoor GPS and data-tracking technology already used in major sports in America will receive an upgrade and be implemented for indoor use.  

"For your average strength and conditioning coach looking at speed, heart rate, and distance, the (regular) GPS is an adequate solution," said Igor van de Griendt. "The indoor GPS really allows the club to take it to the next level, where it has a lot of value on the technical side to see positions relative to opponents or the shape of an offense and defense." 

Catapult’s outdoor technology has already been used by athletes in the NFL, NBA, soccer’s English Premier League and Australian Rules Football. The indoor GPS tracking device will be more sophisticated and in-depth than the outdoor device. It will be able to record how much force a player exerts, acceleration/deceleration, as well as velocity. There is even the idea of installing a sensor into the ball to more accurately record a specific movement.

Normally a GPS system would need a satellite connection to function properly, but Catapult’s indoor GPS will rely on a network of nodes that communicate with the tracking device, whether it be installed in the ball, or strapped to an athlete’s back.

Catapult is able to quickly install the nodes – 6.2 X 3.7 inches around the stadium. Depending on the stadium, there will usually be between 10 to 20 sensors strategically placed with the nodes providing constant communication between the network and the sensors. The entire installation process takes just a couple of hours and is accurate enough to provide coaches with a players positioning on the field within 15 centimeters.

Along with coaches being able to determine an athlete’s performance, science behind the technology will even have the capability to prevent possible injuries."By looking at some of the data we get out, we can prevent muscle-type injuries," said van de Griendt "Sensors can measure impacts and spin rates and measure the actual force or amount of tackles and force and correlate those with injuries." 


Edited by Ashley Caputo