Last updated: 13 June 2016
The world is still mourning the passing of The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, arguably the most captivating sports personality of all time. On June 25th, the young British boxer, Anthony Joshua, will hope to follow in Ali’s footsteps when he defends his world heavyweight title against Dominic Breazeale. It’s set to be the ultimate test of strength, endurance, agility and nerves; a battle between two ferocious and electrifying fighters. If you thought boxing couldn’t get better than this, then you’re about to be pleasantly surprised. In the near future, we’re expecting the IoT to enhance every aspect of the sport, better equipping and training fighters, and making the sport fairer and safer. The IoT’s getting ready to rumble…
The rise of the connected glove is set to help fighters in all sorts of ways, bringing boxers in from the ropes into the centre of the ring. Already, Responsive Sports has created boxing gloves with embedded sensors, the iPunch, which feed live data to a smartphone or a laptop.
The sensors provide information on how regular and hard-hitting the user’s punches are, enabling boxers to instantly analyze their performances and identify where they need to improve. Better still, the technology can create customized training exercises, providing instructions directly to an in-ear device. It’s not just Responsive Sports, though – tech company, Hykso, has also developed wearable wristbands, which track player actions and provide detailed match reports to a smartphone. These are already being used by professionals.
Clearly, the IoT could become the world’s greatest boxing coach – what Joe E. Martin was to Muhammad Ali – and it’s all through the power of data and cutting edge analysis. Boxers who fail to embrace technology could be left behind – and won’t be saved by the bell.
Embedded sensors and wearable tech don’t just have the power to enhance boxers’ performances. They’re also set to make the sport much safer. While it’s undoubtedly thrilling, boxing is also dangerous, as the recent Eubank Jr. versus Nick Blackwell fight demonstrated, which ended with Blackwell being put into a coma. The IoT could be a solution – smart clothing and health trackers can monitor heart rates, anaerobic threshold, aerobic capacity and skin temperature and send an alert when a player is in trouble, prompting the referee to intervene.
Thankfully, the IoT also provides an answer for detecting concussions and brain injuries: the xPatch sensor, developed by Seattle-based X2 Biosystems. This can provide data on the force and angle of impacts to the head, allowing officials and trainers to know when to stop the fight. These types of sensors are already in use for a variety of sports, as concussion injuries are now a bigger issue than ever before.
In addition, if you’re a boxer who feels a judge has lost you a fight in the past, then we’ve got good news for you. Boxing sensors in gloves could decide once and for all whether a punch landed, potentially giving you an all-important extra point. Not only is boxing set to become more exciting and safer, but it’s also about to become fairer as well.
In conclusion, this century’s Rumble in the Jungle is set to be driven by technology. Players could benefit from embedded sensors, aiding them, protecting them, and making sure their punches are counted and scored correctly. The boxers of the future could be:
Floating like butterflies,
Stinging like bees,
Singing the praises of the IoT
What’s your view on the potential of the IoT in sport? Let us know by tweeting to us at @Gemalto, or by posting a comment below. To find out more about what the IoT can do check out our IoT page here.