Suncorp Stadium close
Photographer: Carles Rabada | Source: Unsplash

Technology has changed the way we watch sport.

Technology has had a huge role in changing the sports in terms of safety. In terms of its effects on the sports experience and outcome, there is still debate whether these changes are making the sport better. The technology certainly does evolve and get better over time, so perhaps it’s a matter of patience.

Here are some of the best instances of technology in sport we have going right now.

Hawk-eye

Hawkeye Technology
Hawk-eye | Source: Hawk-eye

And no, we aren’t talking about the Avenger. Hawkeye is the revolutionary line calling system which has been around since 2001. Using an array of six or more separate cameras with different views, the computer reads this in real-time and tracks the path of the ball. Originally, hawkeye was used in cricket but was quickly adapted to tennis where it became well known. It has not only become an integral part of tennis but also football and many other worldwide sports.

It helps the official get the correct call especially in tennis where it is accurate to within 3.6 millimetres.

VAR Technology

VAR Technology
Premier League VAR | Source: Fox Sports

A controversial new technology recently introduced to the Premier League Football in England. VAR, which stands for Video Assistant Referee, is run by a team of people. It is there to review the decision made by the on-field referee. It operates similarly to hawk-eye with an array of cameras. The team of people are able to review the footage and determine the correct decision at any point throughout the game.

The use of video technology has been a major talking point since its introduction, but, despite complaints, more competitions are using it- Goal

VAR is able to accurately determine the right call in the game which can sometimes decide the outcome for the game. The system is able to dis-allow a goal if there was an offside or a foul in the previous play changing the dynamic of the game.

Although the system is controversial, it is the right way to go. Using this technology to accurately determine the correct outcome for a game. It helps in making sure every decision is the correct decision for the game.

Snick-o-meter

Boy Playing cricket.
Photographer: Samarth Shirke | Source: Unsplash

Snick-o-meter was first used in the late 1990s in cricket to figure out if the ball made contact with the bat. Composed of a sensitive microphone located on the cricket stumps. It is connected to an oscilloscope measuring the sound waves as the ball passes the bat. When the ball nicks the bat, the oscilloscope picks up that sound.

Simultaneously, high-speed cameras record the ball passing the bat. Together these can determine if the batter hit the ball or not.

This technology helps to get the right call in cricket every time. The result of the snick-o-meter allows the third-umpire to overturn the on-field call. This prohibits an incorrect decision from having a major impact on the game.

Heart Rate Monitors

Heart Rate Monitors
Heart Rate Monitors | Source: PC Mag

This technology is able to get critical information about the human body. The information that the monitor can get also information about athletes hydration levels and malnutrition. This data is critical in making sure athletes stay at the top of their game.

The technology is able to save athletes lives in some situations. Furthermore, during a game, a coaching team is able to figure out fatigue levels of their players. Based on this, the coaching team can sub them off accordingly based on this monitor. The technology has since been adapted into a smartwatch. Companies such as Fitbit, Garmin, Samsung and Apple have released smartwatches which have heart rate monitors built directly into the watch.

KERS

Photographer: shen liu | Source: Unsplash

Kinetic Energy Recovery System. First introduced to the pinnacle of motorsport, Formula One. KERS harvests the kinetic energy that is created under braking then uses it in another part of the track. The system is able to have an immediate impact on the horsepower output of the car at the push of a button. It also makes cars more fuel-efficient and a more environmentally friendly race car.

This technology has since been incorporated into road cars. With car manufactures such as Mercedes adopting this technology into their road cars. Rebranded as a regenerative braking system, it acts the same in the road car as it does in the Formula One car.

All of this development work that goes on in Formula One, does help feed into the learning journey that takes place in the road car world- Andy Cowell

Summary of Technology

Sport has become more accurate with its rulings and abilities with the introduction of these technologies. They allow for the sports to be better than they were before and make them more exciting to watch.

Overall these technologies are making the sports we love better and personally, I’m eager to see where the technology takes them next.

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