Wearable tech to tackle rugby problems

Wearable tech to tackle rugby problems

A Scottish technology start-up could be set to change the way professional rugby players analyse and improve their game with the development of a new wearable Internet of Things (IoT) device.

Sansible Wearables, which was founded by Jack Ng, a rugby aficionado, and Charlie Patterson, a sport performance enthusiast, has created ‘LiveSkin’ intelligent sensors.

The sensors have been designed to fit within players’ shoulder pads in order to capture data from collisions on the playing field.

The device will then monitor how players tackle with their bodies, improve training drills and inform post-injury rehabilitation programmes.

Transferring data wirelessly to specially-designed software, coaches, physios and medics can use the devices to monitor the force exerted by the athletes in a tackle or a scrum, as well as examine how their bodies recover from injury.

Co-founder Jack Ng said: “The big opportunity for wearables is in sport and the timing is right for our product for a number of reasons.

“Firstly, the sector is already embracing the technology, with sports such as football equipping players with devices that monitor their speed, orientation, GPS coordinates and a variety of other data.

“Secondly, what we’re developing is unique. Although wearables are already used in sports, our product is doing something very different: measuring force.

“There is a real gap in the market for a system which can accurately understand and communicate how impact relates to different athletes, at different times and, ultimately, the outcome of a game.

“Unsurprisingly, contact sports, like rugby and American football, are the likeliest to adopt it and see the biggest results.”

The device can store data and monitor it over time, helping those working with athletes to spot trends, potential areas of concern and ways in which tackling techniques and rehabilitation can be improved.

The company is working with several clubs to trial the device, with interest high and a full roll-out planned in 12-18 months’ time.