A few days ago, adidas and Major League Soccer (MLS) announced a huge partnership that will begin this coming week at the MLS All-Star game in Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 25th when the Major League Soccer All-Stars take on UEFA Champions League winner Chelsea Football Club.. The gist of the announcement is that sports are quickly becoming video games, think TRON meets soccer.
Just kidding. Sort of.
Using the adidas miCoach Elite System, every team in the league will track performance data in real-time. A small data cell will sit within a protective pocket of fabric in the player’s base layer, a technologically advanced term for undershirt. The data cell will reside between the players shoulder blades but it’s the sensors woven into the base layer that will track and wirelessly transmit 200 readings per second to coaches and trainers. The real-time performance metrics include heart rate, speed, acceleration, distance, field position and, for the first time, power, all at the coach’s fingertips in the form of an iPad.
The first “smart game” will be the aforementioned 2012 All-Star Game but beginning with the 2013 season, every team in the league will use the adidas miCoach Elite System.
“We are proud to partner with our long-term partner Major League Soccer to debut our latest innovation the micoach Elite System at the MLS All-Star Game and then across the league in 2013,” said adidas Group CEO Herbert Hainer. “As the paths of sports and technology continue to converge, we are pleased to be pioneering in this area and continue to deliver cutting-edge innovations to teams and leagues worldwide.”
“On-field data tracking is one of the most important elements coaches and trainers use to prepare their teams,” said Paul Gaudio, vice president of adidas interactive. “Teams are constantly looking for a competitive edge and the micoach Elite System is a real-time performance monitoring solution for the best teams in the world.” Gaudio continued, “With years of research, innovation and development behind it, the micoach Elite System allows coaches and trainers to make informed strategic decisions to maintain collective peak physical performance on the field.”
The development of the micoach Elite System began in 2010 in conjunction with some of the MLS teams. At first, data will be available only to coaches and trainers but plans are to allow aspects of the transmitted performance measurements to be viewed by fans. In essence, you’ll be able to see your favorite player’s “power meter” as if you were playing a video game from your couch at home.
If that’s not
scary cool, I don’t know what is. The thing that I’m looking forward to seeing the most, as this technology progresses through various sports, is the moments when a player is “in the zone.”
Will this technology lead to proving something bigger like “mind over matter” or, you know, isomorphic algorithms.
This is the beginning of something really cool and I’ll surely be watching to see how it all works on Wednesday when the All-Star Game takes place. I just hope Jeff Bridges is announcing the game so we get the full effect.