Wearable technology isn’t new to the football world, but with i1 Biometrics Athlete Intelligence software, coaches can take the data they are gathering and put it to work for them.
With all of the new technology available to coaches today, it’s easy to get caught up in every “next best thing” that comes along. It has become increasingly difficult for coaches to decide which technology is right for them, especially when they are unfamiliar with how the technology actually works.
University of Washington Huskies’ Head Coach Chris Petersen understands the difficulties in deciding when to try new products. This season, Petersen conducted a test with the Vector MouthGuard, a collision-sensing mouth guard from i1 Biometrics.
“i1 Biometrics flagship sensor is a mouth guard,” University of Washington Head Football Athletic Trainer Rob Scheidegger says. “The unique thing about that sensor is it’s technically attached to the athlete’s skull, because it’s affixed to their upper jaw. It’s able to provide really accurate algorithms for measuring the forces being transferred through the helmet and into the athlete’s actual skull.”
The Vector MouthGuard is one of several pieces of wearable technology i1 Biometrics specializes in. The Vector is being used at schools like Washington to help coaches understand the way in which impacts are affecting their players, how to minimize the risk of injury and how to increase performance.
The CEO and president of i1 Biometrics, Jesse Harper, saw a need to take this experience to a deeper level, and began working on a new software platform. The result was Athlete Intelligence, a program capable of combining the data from the Vector with other pieces of wearable tech like the Cue Sports Sensor and the Shockbox helmet sensor to show coaches a complete picture of what their athletes are experiencing.
“The first thing we did was married video data to sensor data,” Harper says. “We time synced all of our data with the video down to the millisecond so we can show the data in the context of the player’s atmosphere, which immediately brought two-dimensional data to three-dimensional life.”
Collecting rich data is valuable, but being able to apply that data in real-time, in post-practice analysis or in film study could easily become an irreplaceable part of a coach’s toolkit. Having the opportunity to clearly see trends in the data gives coaches like Petersen the opportunity to make the most informed decisions possible.
“I think we are really fortunate at Washington that we have a coach who puts a lot of thought into his schedule with athlete safety in mind,” Scheidegger says. “When he comes to us and asks our recommendations on changing the way we hit, or the number of practices we are doing, we want to have good information so he can make informed decisions so he can get the most bang for his buck.”
Providing coachable moments doesn’t only apply to on-field safety and performance. Athlete Intelligence is capable of combining a variety of different technologies under one banner in all facets of the game.
“It’s a single pane of glass for a coach to look at an athlete through,” Harper says. “Coaches can easily answer questions about how athletes eat, sleep, train, injuries they were exposed to and what they need to do differently as they move forward to get a better result.”
This comprehensive design eliminates the confusion of using multiple platforms. Athlete Intelligence is very intuitive, especially for coaches, because it was designed with coaches in mind.
“Coaches have the best opportunity to teach proper technique and modify behavior,” Harper says. “So we went from trying to provide actionable data to the athletic trainer and the medical staff, and shifted our focus to coaches, because they are the ones who modify behavior. Player safety and performance starts and ends with the coach.”
Athlete Intelligence has a tremendous amount of potential as a means of mitigating and reducing injury because it doesn’t just track the data, it provides coaches with the opportunities they need to use that data. Both safety and performance are equally well represented.
This software allows coaches to not only see things they wouldn’t normally see, but also gives them a platform for demonstrating that data to players in a learning environment. Athlete Intelligence brings the opportunities to improve to the forefront, and empowers coaches to do their job at peak efficiency.
“I don’t think we could ever make the perfect helmet or the perfect shoulder pads or the perfect set of rules,” Harper says. “But we can teach players how to play the game appropriately while mitigating risk. The rules will only take you so far, it’s coaches that are going to make the biggest difference.
“I want people to understand that we aren’t just another helmet sensor company,” Harper says. “We aren’t just concerned about preventing head injuries and concussions. We are also focused on understanding what’s happening on the field, and providing that information to coaches so they can do what they do best.”
For more information about Athlete Intelligence, please visit www.AthleteIntelligence.com or call (425) 372-7811.