The Top Tech Gadgets That Enhance Athletics Today


Courtesy of Babolat, Under Armour, and Blast Motion

These three pieces of equipment use a multitude of sensors for users to track performance and progress; this data is easily accessible through mobile apps and helps athletes recognize their strengths and weaknesses.

Helena Hu, Centerspread Editor

Ever since the smartwatch took the world by storm, different sports are embracing the use of technology to help amateur and professional players enhance their performance and technique. Check out some of the most advanced technology in sports today.

Basketball: Blast Motion Sensor
In basketball, there is one crucial skill that is key to being successful: jumping. The Blast Basketball motion sensor is a clip attached to the player’s waistband. The sensor immediately detects motion and records video. The footage is sent directly to the app where players can access highlight videos of their performance and share them through Facebook, Twitter and email as well as analyze aspects of their jump like vertical height, hang time and acceleration. Priced at $150, the Blast Basketball motion sensor is definitely for more serious players compared to a recreational one.

Tennis: Babolat PLAY
The Babolat PLAY racket is the first of its kind in the tennis industry; while the handle of an ordinary racket is usually empty, the handles of PLAY rackets are embedded with multiple sensors to track player data. The data is then sent to a smartphone via the Babolat app where users can see statistics such as shot accuracy and speed. Users can then share statistics and compare performance with other users. The PLAY features are available in three different Babolat rackets: the Pure Drive, Pure Drive Lite and Pure Aero. Prices range from $299 to $349, which is on the higher side for rackets, but it is great for players of all skill levels looking to improve without private coaching.

Running: Under Armour SpeedForm
When it comes to sports equipment, shoes seem like a basic necessity, but Under Armour has elevated this simple garment by creating the first “smartshoe.” The SpeedForm shoe line is able to track an athlete’s running similar to how a smartwatch would. Users are able to track runs, walks, hikes and other activities through the Map My Run app by Under Armour. Like gadgets such as the Apple Watch and Fitbit, these shoes are able to show distance travelled, calories burned and pace. Unlike smartwatches, SpeedForm does not require charging, so they are always accessible. A variety of current Under Armour shoes are available in the SpeedForm version and typically only cost about $20 more than the regular version, making it a worthwhile investment for anybody looking to increase fitness levels