What Is the Impact of Technology
on Sports and Fitness?

Nov 18, 2021

Digiteum Team

technologies in sport

Digital Strategy

What Is the Impact of Technology on Sports and Fitness?

According to Research and Markets, the global value of the sports market was supposed to reach an annual potential of around half-trillion US dollars last year. The pandemic and unrest in society all across the world have corrected these predictions. In fact, sports and related areas have been dramatically affected by the events of 2020.

Against this backdrop, certain technologies in sport, fitness and wellness are becoming increasingly interesting. Some of them make a real impact on the whole sector and help the industry get over and revive after the pandemic crisis. We are talking about telefitness for home workouts, apps for losing or gaining weight, personal wearables and performance tracking systems, just to name a few.

In this article, we will review the current state of tech in this field, go through the advancements in sports technology, and mention a few amazing digital products that thrive in this industry, no matter what.

technologies in sport

Key technological advancements in sport

No doubt, the major trends in fast-growing tech such as IoT and AI have made a big impact on the industry of sport and fitness. Along with now common fitness trackers and mobile apps for different sports activities, we see new technology in sports being tested and adopted with high enthusiasm. For example:

Novel wearables

The time when wearables in sports and wellness have been associated only with Fitbit bands and basic pedometers has passed. Today, the variety of wearable products so as the versatility of their functionality are astonishing.

There are smart glasses for cyclists that build and show routes in real-time and goggles for swimmers that collect important metrics on the go. Sensor-enabled shoes for football players and runners track speed, force, motion, traction, etc. There are even full-body suits that enable performance and muscle coordination monitoring during training and help enhance the experience with different AR and VR effects. These wearables are suitable for professional athletes, hobbyists, as well as those who undergo rehabilitation after traumas.

Read: Wearable application development for smart earbuds

Telefitness technologies

technologies in sport

The new reality of home office has certainly boosted the concept of telefitness and all sports technology advancements that make home workouts and remote coaching possible. This category also includes a wide range of solutions from popular video conferencing tools and mobile apps for instructors and students to futuristic fitness technologies like smart mirrors.

The best thing about these technologies is that they are likely to stay with us for a very long time. Telefitness services are particularly important for such groups of consumers as the elderly, people who recover from injuries and those who can’t access gyms or find it challenging to work out outside for other reasons. There are plenty of health and wellness applications in this area that have proven to be useful especially in recent years.

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5G and Internet of Things

Other innovative technologies that impact sports from many different perspectives are the emerging 5G technologies and the Internet of Things. Wearables are just a tiny part of connected technology, whereas the opportunities Internet of Things and ultrafast connectivity bring to this sector are truly fantastic. This category includes large-scale infrastructures such as connected stadiums, immersive audience experiences based on VR/AR solutions, performance tracking and analytics solutions. It is believed that these technologies will become the major drivers of digital transformation in sports in the future.

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eSports

When talking about the most recent sport technology advancements, it would be unfair to miss the whole new market in this industry that emerged thanks to digital technologies. eSports, which includes eRacing, fighting games, shooters, etc. is a fast-growing sector built around mobile and PC gaming, AR and VR as well as AI technologies and even autonomous vehicles.

Read: Flutter mobile development for fast and high-performing applications

Cloud

Cloud is one of the major digital technologies in sports industry. Modern cloud platforms enable global distribution, scalability and efficiency of almost any online sports solution starting from fitness apps to professional athlete performance analytics.

Blockchain and NFT

The impact of some IT technologies in sports is less clear yet significant. Blockchain and NFT, seemingly the least candidates to get to this list, are in fact some of the major drivers of sports as a business. Fans tokens, digital tickets, digital collectibles and loyalty programs that bring an audience of many millions closer to their favorite clubs and sports events are powered by these technologies.

Technology in sports equipment

technologies in sport

Equipment is often the main focus of sports startups. The growth of technology in sports equipment is seen not only in the transformation of traditional items like treadmills but also in previously unseen products like performance tracking systems. Here are some examples:

  • Smart workout equipment. When the common workout equipment such as treadmills or dumbbells are enhanced with sensors, they become a source of unique performance data and help monitor and correct workout routines in real-time, enhance efficiency and even avoid injuries.
  • Connected gear. Smart suits, glasses, helmets, golf clubs, etc. have already become a part of essential gear kits of professional athletes. These tools provide professional sportsmen and sportswomen as well as their coaching teams with essential insights important for building efficient training programs and strategies.
  • Enhanced sports areas. The impact of technology in sports is seen not only on athletes’ training and performance but also on the conditions of the sports environment. Largescale facilities including stadiums, racing tracks, skating rinks are not easy and certainly not cheap to maintain. Enhanced with sensors, electricity management systems, etc. these facilities turn into smarter and more sustainable spaces that provide athletes and audiences with excellent conditions for sports events.
  • Athlete tracking systems. How has technology impacted sports? Possibly, the best way to answer this question is to compare the performance of the athletes today and, for instance, 20 years ago. One of the key reasons why athletes excel and make incredible leaps, literally in some cases, is the real data they use to adjust their training and game strategies. Sports teams track and analyze performance data, determine opportunities, detect weak points, tune training programs and, eventually, achieve their goals. This is why athlete tracking platforms like STATSports are gaining popularity (Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and other major football clubs use this platform).

Here's a curious case that shows what happens when you blend professional sports, educational science and mobile technology. Learn how to combine sports and language learning using professional football content.

Examples of technologies in sports and fitness

Examples of using technologies in sports are abundant. Here are just several interesting applications of using information technology in fitness, professional sports and wellness.

Mobile apps

mobile app development process

There is a great diversity of mobile applications for home training, workout progress tracking as well as companion apps for wearables. Dona Rise and Dona Shine is a unique app combo that, on one side, provides fitness and yoga instructors online placement to offer their services and, on the other side, helps students find instructors and routines they are interested in. It’s a sort of Uber for fitness and wellness, which, frankly, many of us would like to have access to in the time of quarantine.

Learn about Doña apps  – best iOS apps for yoga instructors and students who value flexibility and comfort. Check our Android apps development services if you are not interested in applications for Apple devices. 

Wearables

technologies in sport

As mentioned earlier, IoT and wearables are common examples of the use of technology in sports. Check the ultimate sensor wearable, the winner of uncountable CES and Red Dot awards, Teslasuit. Not only can it expand the potential of an athlete's training thanks to the haptic tech, immersive VR experience and unique telemetry analytics. It also works as a tool for post-injury rehabilitation.

AI analytics

technologies in sport

Mobile apps and wearable technology in fitness and sports work side by side with data analytics to provide true value to both professionals and amateurs. In this context, AI analytics is gaining increasing interest for the ability to make sense of massive amounts of data and the potential to make fairly accurate predictions. One of the examples is F1 teams using racing data collected in years and in real-time to better adjust their strategies, improve vehicle preparation and maintenance, and even ensure better safety for their drivers.

Web development for the sports industry

Web development plays an important part in many technological developments in sport.  Sports applications particularly connected to content distribution, broadcasting, stats and pro analytics rely on web technologies and data management services, as well as modern engineering approaches (serverless and microservices benefits, cloud scalability, etc.) and to deliver sports content and data effectively at a global scale.

Web platforms for stats and analytics

Pro coaches, athletes, teams and leagues along with avid fans and professional bettors use powerful web applications that gather, analyze and deliver top-tier sports analytics and game stats. This is a very diverse category that includes large multifunctional platforms (e.g. Stats Perform's solutions) and experimental tools like a Sports Performance Platform by Microsoft Garage.

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Software for teams, clubs and sports event management

The impact of technology on sports is clearly visible in the way events are organized, managed and communicated to fans and the audience. Web platforms for team and event management are versatile solutions that allow managers to create team profiles, schedule events, connect to fans and provide media content all in one place. A feature-rich Wooter App is a good example.

Networking and collaboration tools

Cloud-based web solutions for sportsmen and fans collaboration, networking and engagement are getting increasingly popular. Often paired with mobile applications for seamless experience, these solutions help create a convenient space where players, entire teams and fans can connect and communicate.

On-demand platforms for instructors and customers

How does technology help in sports and fitness business management? To answer this question, we'll mention another category of software for gym and fitness studio management, on-demand fitness classes and workout streaming. These solutions help sports and fitness professionals move all or part of their operations online, run classes and provide customers with telefitness services without the need to invest in a new fitness or sport website design and development.

Our experience in developing sports and fitness platforms

Digiteum has worked with several sports and fitness brands on a range of web, mobile, sports data analytics and broadcasting projects.

In 2019, a San Fransisco startup assigned Digiteum to develop an on-demand platform for yoga and core conditioning instructors and students. We designed and developed two native iOS applications with a wide range of features and integrated services, including:

  • Twilio-based video sessions and messaging;
  • Scheduling and calendar management;
  • Profiling, broadcasting and customizable feeds;
  • Integration with wearables and secure payment services;
  • Salesforce backend for content and data management, analytics and monitoring.

Learn about our success stories or request information on how we could help you with your project directly from our business development specialists.

Are you interested to learn more about the impacts of technology on the fitness industry and sports? Or have an existing project in this field and need a skilled and experienced team to bring it to life?

Contact Digiteum to talk about your current needs. We have relevant domain experience and a diverse skillset for sports-tech design and engineering. Let's have a chat!

Contact Digiteum

FAQ

How are technologies used in sports and fitness?
Modern digital technologies are widely used in all aspects of professional and amateur sports and fitness. Perhaps, the most common use of technology in sports is a wearable tracker (wristband, smartwatch, ring, etc.). Other popular technologies include performance analytics platforms, mobile applications, connected sports equipment and coaching solutions. Machine intelligence plays an important role in professional sports technology advancements.
How does technology help in sports development?
Sports tech brings visibility and detailed performance analytics into sports. Tracking, monitoring and modeling tools make different sports activities from professional racing to jogging in a park a safer and healthier experience. Among other benefits of using technologies in sports and fitness are better engagement, higher availability and improved performance.
What are the most popular applications in sports?
  • Health and performance trackers.
  • Mobile coaching and telefitness.
  • Connected equipment and smart gear.
  • eSports based on AR/VR technologies.