Published on September 23rd, 2020 | by Sunit Nandi


Mobile Technology Trends for Sports Fans

It is pretty easy to see that the way we interact with our favourite sports is changing. This is happening for multiple reasons from the current health situation to advances in technology. These innovations are spurring greater creativity in viewership for most sports franchises and their fans that are ultimately leading to lasting changes in how things are done.

For example, thanks to COVID-19, the idea of going to a stadium or arena to cheer on your favorite team with thousands of others feels like a distant dream. Even getting a big group together and hosting a viewing party at your house may lead you to be a bit wary.

And in the technology industry, we are seeing more mobile applications and viewership than ever before. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Developments such as virtual reality headsets for sports viewership and sports franchise gaming are quickly becoming a reality.

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The world of sports is a hotbed of change and exciting advances these days.

The COVID Impact

There is almost no conversation about sports that can be had without acknowledging the incredible impact that COVID-19 has had. Many major sports teams have canceled or seriously altered their seasons, leaving many fans without a favorite pastime and nothing new to discuss with their sports buddies. Major events such as the 2020 Olympics were canceled altogether.

This has been a real challenge for both players who work hard to maintain top physical capabilities so they can perform and fans who are dedicated to the game. Sports information directors — the professionals who are typically in charge of marketing, public relations, and event management for teams — have been scrambling to market the new normal. For instance, sports information directors are responsible for building the hype about hockey and basketball seasons taking place with alterations including a biodome and no fans in the stands.

Technology has also played an important role in helping the sports industry adapt to the challenges of COVID-19. For instance, many players are wearing monitoring devices that are helping to catch early signs of a potential COVID infection. Likewise, many football players are signing on to wear face shields that have been approved for the season.

Machine Learning in Sports

So much is happening in the sports world beyond COVID-19 though, especially when it comes to other technological advancements. One perfect example is machine learning. Machine learning is a technological system that applies artificial intelligence to allow it to learn without being specifically programmed. Essentially the computer system gathers data and uses that information to make inferences over time that guide future decisions.

In sports, machine learning can be applied to provide instant statistics on players right on your mobile device. Think of a pitcher throwing a baseball and instantly having the information regarding that pitcher’s overall stats and average mph thrown updated on your screen. Things such as player movements on the field can be analyzed for greater insights as to how they might perform in different situations and where their strengths and weaknesses are.

Beyond just allowing fans to analyze players, machine learning can be used to help the players themselves better understand their performance and that of their opponents. The technology can help them enhance the competitiveness of the game, making it more exciting to watch overall. Likewise, it can help identify weak spots for players or repetitive movements that need to be adjusted to avoid injury. All of this comes back to make the game better for fans just as much as for players.

Sports VR Coming Your Way

Perhaps the most exciting advancement in technology for many sports fans is the increase in the capabilities of virtual reality tech. A virtual reality headset would allow fans to experience their favorite teams in a 3D world without leaving the comfort of their homes. It can give them the experience of being in the stadium for nearly every game and it may even let them experience the field from the player’s perspective.

2020 may be the year where virtual sports take off. Many professional players are starting to use the technology to help them train during the off-season or rehabilitate from injuries. As the tech becomes better and more accessible, more and more local sports teams from college clear down to rec league will be able to use virtual reality headsets to improve their performance and train.

Though this exciting technology is starting to take off, there is still quite a bit of need for feature testing. Feature testing is the practice of trying out different available features to determine which ones will best optimize performance and ultimately lead to the best user experience. Doing this will help developers provide the best product into the future and will make VR that much more awesome for users.

Tech developments in the sports industry are vast and varied. Things like face shields are helping players get back onto the field where fans can enjoy their performances. Machine learning is enabling fans to analyze and assess players themselves straight from their mobile devices. And virtual reality is helping to put fans in the stands and on the field in a one of a kind experience. Clearly, there is much to look forward to!

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I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.

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