Sport England Consultation

We are delighted to hear that Sport England are lookin to find new methods to measure levels of activity in sport as wellas using their APS figures.

The consultation is here – Sport England 

We believe there are enough alternative methods and so much live data being captured in sport and physical activity and the potential is huge. The only question is what methid is chosen and how flexible it can be to keep up with the advances in technology  

 

Which is the best Tracker?

Although we are interested in highlighting the future of sports innovation we are of course always asked about the current market!

We are not in a position to compete with some of the bigger sites who are able to do reviews and create beautiful videos too!.

Here is a god example

T3 Reviews

When we coma across good products and reviews we will post them on the site to help you. We are always up for questions about the products – as we are really interested to know what people want to know!

Innovation – what does it look like?

I help run a Legacy Innovation Fund as part of the Rugby World Cup legacy. We managed to raise some money in one of the regions from a series of local companies to deliver a lasting legacy. I helped design a fund that would only invest in innovative and sustainable projects. The idea I hoped would be to find some really imaginative ways for the game of rugby to make itself relevant for the 21st century. I hoped there were going to be new forms of the game for new audiences emerge from this. My idea was that bidders would look to the current problems they face and in understating in their local community would ‘innovate’ to find new ways to attract people back or into the game – or even to picking up a rugby ball regularly and finding an expression of the game to attract new audiences.

Whilst my full experience is the subject of a longer blog over at the Sports Think Tank I am sure you have already guessed that I wasn’t  overwhelmed by the response we got. In fact it was really worrying that despite it saying in capital letters that we didn’t want capital one-off events and they should be innovative and sustainable we mainly got bids for capital and one-off mini tournaments that were likely to happen anyway. I have even had to spend my time describing what innovation looks like to people who I assumed would know.

To be fair I have spent some time with a few projects and will be spending some time with a few more in the lead up to the RWC to help them through the process. We are using BARA to make rugby relevant for the Asian community in Leicester, we are creating some doorstep clubs in another bid. But these are not driven by clubs or the CBs. They are driven from outside.

So the lesson is to make no assumptions when expecting innovation in sport. The NGBs might employ specialists  to think about innovation but from my little experience in one sport this is not what drives the average club member!

Rather than just being disappointed – can you help. What would you do to design an innovative way to deliver a rugby legacy in your local community. Please post a reply or get involved on Twitter 

Collaborating

Here at Sports Innovation we are all about collaboration for the good of the Sport and Physical Activity sector. One of the greatest innovations we could see is proper joined up policy and collaboration across the delivery platforms so it would be remiss of us not join up where we can.

As some of us are Loughborough based we are working with the University to look at technology, research and insight. We work with the Sports Technology Institute, the Physical Activity and Public Health Research Group (PAPHRG) http://www.paphrg.org and from later this year with the Sports Business Institute at the new Loughborough University in London. 

As Loughborough University already support the work of the Sports Industry Group work #cuttingedgesport it would be foolish to duplicate. We will highlight their stories and hopefully add some insight to their work over time. 

It is worth having a look at their mini site. We hope to share some of our work and blogs with them as we feel we can offer insight into what might be coming from other sectors and further down the line in terms of the research and innovators we meet.

http://www.sportindustry.biz/cutting-edge-sport

 http://www.sportindustry.biz/cutting-edge-sport Sports Industry Cutting Edge

Are We Getting Closer to the Perfect Device…

Now the Apple Watch has arrived we must be near to the perfect device? Apple enthusiasts will insist this is the end for everybody else but for those of us who have not rushed off to buy a shiny new Apple product there are still plenty of options out there.

Apple WatchI have been an early adopter of may new technologies for quite some time – since my first Psion organiser in 1998.  As I have matured however, I have been far more discerning about when to dip into a new market, and I have been clearer about what features make a new bit of kit work.

I have been interested in wearable tech since the first Garmin brick I wore on my wrist to go running. Like most people I loved not only the run but the excitement of connecting to my laptop via its USB link once I got home to see where I had been, how far I had run and at what pace. I have had heart rate monitors for over a decade. I am not even a very serious runner, but I have been interested in my health, and what shape I am in for years. My love of tech and sport has been a perfect combination for keeping an eye on the killer app and hardware.

As you will know from previous posts I started getting serious again when I was given a Nike Fuelband. The elegant design really caused great interest in those who saw it and the clever gamification and creation of Nike Fuel Points in competition with my wife was a great motivator for us both. It was a useful insight into where physical activity was built into our lives. Sadly after about 13 months both our bands ‘died’.

I held off  buying anything else for some time because I now had a clear idea of what my perfect tracking device would look like and what it would do. I was still impressed by all the bits of kit I was using – but like so many people I don’t want to need a range of devices and still carrying round my iphone on a run.

To be honest if I was waiting to buy the killer device I would still be waiting. Each of the latest offerings still fall a little short. But I was bought a jawbone UP24 for Christmas and I was really pleased to bump into CEO of Myzone Dave Wright and am now testing and using a MYzone heart rate belt.

As my Jawbone UP24 has died in the last few weeks I am sorry to say it has not stood up to lasting 7 months of daily use. jawboneu3

I will be blogging my experience of both devices in the next week or so, and having a quick look at all the latest wearables and why they still don’t quite get my vote to be the complete tracker device for all my needs.

We’ve been busy…

Over the last few months the sports tech world has been moving at an ever increasing pace…and we have been working with some great new innovations that are heading your way!

As we have been developing our relationships with a variety of partners we have become clearer about what this site and our services are really about.

Increasingly we are being asked by new start-ups how they can talk to the established world of sport, NGBs, clubs etc. They believe their products will be attractive and there is likely to be some mutual benefit. Rarely is the start up asking for cash from the NGB – but they want a relationship.

On the other hand a few NGBs, sports bodies, associations and friends are looking to make their sport fit in this new digital age and look jealously across at Strava, Map my Run, Up, Apple watch health apps and wonder if there is a killer app, website or new gadget that will bring them into the 21st century. Sadly they find it hard to get the right people in the same room at the same time. That is where we come in….

We are working with London Sport to bring some of these great ideas to life. We are hoping to bring the two sectors closer together. So watch this space for some great projects to be announced after the summer.

At the same tome we continue to work with Openplay and have been delighted to be introduced to raceful.ly  We are very excited by what we have seen and are really keen to support some British start-ups!

raceful.ly

To back up the work we are partnering with the world renowned Loughborough University – specifically the Physical Activity & Public Health Research Group  where we can offer advice and world leading research capabilities and experience.

PAPHRG

We will be continually tweeting and forwarding the new tech ideas we see from across the sport & physical activity community via @sport_innovatn so please follow us.