Geolocation: The technology that has revolutionised the world of sport

Geolocation has come a long way in recent years. A technology that was previously restricted to military equipment and distress signalling is now available on almost every mobile device such as mobile phones and the growing trends of fitness trackers and watches. The technology is now key for sports teams and individuals and right through to sporting enthusiasts.

Geolocation is an estimation of the real-world location of an object like a phone or tracker. It works by coordinating, from several satellites, the location of the object. We now see the technology being used in consumer apps such as navigation app Waze, which offers real-time delays and reroutes as well as using AI to work out better routes by tracking thousands of journeys.

Since then, we have seen developers use geolocation in more and more innovative ways. Dating apps have used the technology to great effect. The PHA Group client Happn, for example, matches people depending on where they are and if they have, ‘crossed paths’. The idea being that they have similar interests and therefore be more compatible. Amazon’s recent launch of their Amazon Map Tracking, allowing people to check precisely where their packages are at any point in time.

Where geolocation technology is becoming increasingly popular, though, is in the world of sport and fitness. Sports teams, including the England rugby team, have used GPS trackers to analyse players’ performances, combining this with video match analysis. Being able to accurately measure performance using geolocation data is helping sports teams to analyse ways of improving performance, training and tactics. Sports scientist Ben Pollard when talking about the England teams trackers said, “It gives us an objective quantification of the movement demands of training and the game.” With every second counting at the pinnacle level of sport, this insight is invaluable.

But not everyone can play rugby for England. However, for the rest of us, the attraction of tracking our fitness routines remains strong. Small wearable trackers have now reached the high-street. The huge popularity of the Fitbit brand has seen most manufacturers jump on the tracker and fitness watch bandwagon. Whether they help us to track how much exercise we do, or shame us into doing more, GPS has been included in the majority of mobile tech. These wearables have become more and more advanced with watches like the Samsung Gear Fit 2 now offering great workout functions and a heart rate monitor on top of the standard GPS tracking.

For those going to the World Cup, it may well be difficult finding your seat with some of the stadiums holding over 60,000 people. To solve this problem Netco Sports has used geolocation to help bewildered fans find their seats. It works by matching fans locations, the location of their seat to give them a detailed map of how to get there in time for kick off. With the localised notifications the app, it will also be able to advertise special promotions in real time, depending on the person’s location in the stadium.

Geolocation has become a must-have fitness accessory. If you’d like to find out how our fittech team can help you boost your business or brand, please contact the team today.

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