Freude am Sport: Salzburg Research/

So that sport is fun: Smart sports products

Sport should be fun – only then will it become an integral part of the lifestyle. That’s why not only speed, distance or height meters count, but above all the quality of the movement. In the new COMET project Digital Motion, industrial companies are developing smart sports equipment together with research institutes. Goal: more enjoyment of movement through an improved sports experience.

In order for sport to be fun, the basic conditions must be right: the shoe must not push, the equipment should be optimally adjusted. In order to make this possible, more and more digitization is finding its way into the sports industry: Modern sensor technologies and qualitative motion data analysis should help to improve the individual sports experience. The COMET project “Digital Motion” under the direction of Salzburg Research will explore how this works best in the next four years.

Even today, sensors capture many quantitative movement data: altitude meters, distance travelled, time, number of steps. But about the quality these data say little. The miniaturization and networking in the Internet of Things creates new opportunities: Sensors in the material or clothing can provide feedback on whether a carving swing was well drawn or slipped, whether there were unilateral loads, how much force was used and much more. The research project combines interdisciplinary know-how – from sports science to computer science to human-machine interaction. Not only is the quality of the human movement analysed, but also psychophysiological aspects. Added to this are the challenges of data communication and interaction as well as self-learning systems. All prototypes are tested under real conditions on the ski slope and on the running track. The goal is to promote the enjoyment of exercise in sports and everyday life through individually tailored equipment and coaching.

For the COMET project Digital Motion about four million Euros in research volume are available for the next four years. Half of this budget comes from the twelve industrial companies involved, the other half is funded by the Research Promotion Agency FFG and the Economic Department of the Province of Salzburg under the COMET program.

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