Five ways the IoT can help you stay active this summer

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[ This article was originally published here ]

Summer is in full swing in Europe and other parts of the world in the northern hemisphere, which means that many of us will be taking time off to catch up on some much-needed Vitamin D. Whether you’re jetting off somewhere exotic, packing the kids into the car for a road trip, or simply lounging by the pool, many of us enjoy using this time to stay fit or play sport as a means of entertainment when away from home.

While there are a great variety of wearable devices, such as fitness trackers and smart watches, which can help you keep track of your vitals during exercise, there are also some less-known gadgets that can help you reach your sports goals. We’ve listed below five things that you might want to consider packing in your luggage.

Smart helmet for keen cyclists

Wearing earphones while cycling can be dangerous, as it reduces your ability to concentrate on your surroundings. But wouldn’t it be nice if you could listen to some music while exploring one of these smart cities on a bike? Luckily, developments in Internet of Things (IoT) technology have allowed for the creation of a smart biking helmet. It features an open ear bone system that is linked to audio points in the straps of the helmet. You can connect your OMNI smart helmet to your smartphone to listen to music or even answer a call, while still have your ears free to hear the traffic and external environment around you. It also has auto LED tail lights, ensuring your safety while cycling. In addition, if the rider wearing the helmet gets into a collision the built-in sensor will alert emergency contacts via smartphone alert.

Enhance your basketball game

Do you enjoy playing basketball or streetball with friends or family in your spare time and want to improve your skills? Well, the IoT can help you. Sensor-based wearable systems can now allow you to automatically track your basketball shot attempts, makes, and misses. By attaching a sensor to the net, you can receive up-to-the-second analytics on your smartphone via an app. The technology has been so successful that it’s being used by coaches at college-level basketball games in the United States. What’s more, fans can also access the data, allowing them to get sub-second live stats for their favourite players that aren’t available to see on a statistics board.

Connected ball that analyses your kicks

Feeling inspired by the amazing Women’s World Cup that we just witnessed to learn new skills and improve your football game this summer? Adidas has developed a smart ball, deployed with IoT technology, that provides instant feedback on the power and trajectory of your kicks, so you can see exactly what area you need to work on progress. The sensors the ball relies on to collect the data are hidden right in the middle, inside of the ball, meaning its dynamics are not affected and it feels the same as a normal one. Once the data is collected the sensors transmit it over Bluetooth to an app on your smartphone. It will allow you to practice even in a confined area, for example, if you kick the ball against a wall and the visualizations will show how it would have travelled if you were in the middle of an open pitch.

Learn how to swim with a smart band

Going on a beach holiday but don’t know how to swim? IoT technology can teach you and also keep you safe! This smart band, worn either around the head or wrist, acts as an effective anti-drowning system in pools, lakes and rivers. It has a built-in sensor that detects when it’s been submerged for a user-defined length of time. If the threshold is reached, it sends an alert to an iOS smartphone app via Bluetooth. The trajectory it works is up to around 100 feet/33 meters. The device can also be used on small children or even pets to alert a parent if a non-swimmer enters the water without permission.

Socks that measure how fast you run

If you are one of those holiday-goes who enjoy an early morning run on the beach then you might want to consider using a smart garment, created to analyze your run. Why not equipping yourself with a pair of smart socks, with built-in IoT sensors that measure not only how far and fast you go, but the way your foot impacts with the ground – helping you minimize the risk of stress or injury by maintaining good form throughout your run.

The compatible app that accompanies the technology allows you to find the most relevant trackable metrics for your workout, such as impact force. Furthermore, an AI coach on the app can provides you with inspirational and customized suggestions to help you improve your skills and reach your goals.

The textile-based sensors sit between the foot and running shoe without causing discomfort and can even be thrown in the washing machine with your other laundry. However, if smart socks aren’t for you, you can also find this technology in T-shirts and sports bras, which will track your heart rate.

The Sensoria® Running System can IoT-enable any smart garments and footwear, showing that wearables have reached a level of maturity and mass market.

In conclusion, with the IoT landscape evolving at an unprecedented pace, we can expect many more sports-based devices to become available over the coming years. Nonetheless, we hope this has provided you with an idea of exactly how this technology can be helpful to your daily life and also inspire you to stay active during your summer holiday. 😊

Do you enjoy practicing sports on your holiday? Are there any other smart devices we can add to the list? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting us @Gemalto.