The Coronavirus has upended pretty much all areas of modern life, sports included. The need to keep the social distance at all times is necessary to reduce the spread of the virus. This measure has had a significant impact on sporting fixtures all around the world. Countries have had to abandon many sporting activities altogether. As the world ponders on what next steps to take, solace for the sporting industry may lie in the most unlikely place: technology.
The sporting industry is one of the most adaptive to change. The need to broadcast live events in real-time forced them to adapt to new broadcasting technologies very early. Other industries, such as gambling also played a role in nudging it in the right direction. It explains why there is a stable relationship between betting and sports. Visit Ussportsbonus.com to get a clear understanding of how this interdependent relationship works.
New Face Shield and Masks Rules
The most popular technological adaptation today is simple: a face shield or mask. To minimize the transmission of COVID-19 between players in Football, the NFL is introducing new face shield and mask rules. Sunglasses manufacturer Oakley designed and manufactured professional shields and masks for the sport. The company uses anti-ballistic and anti-fogging glass lenses to produce combat goggles designed for the game.
NFL has stringent rules on what a player can wear on the field. In the past, they have banned all kinds of visors and face masks, but this has to change. Medical Director of NFL Thom Mayer argues that the league is changing its rules to permit shields with internal N95 respirators.
Wearable Chips With a New Purpose
You are probably aware that the NBA and NFL have used wearable chips to track the movements of players in the field. These chips provide a lot of information about the players and the game in real-time. In the face of new social distancing rules, they are repurposing these chips to track players’ contacts on and off the field. Some of the teams that already use the chips include Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks.
Coronavirus is a difficult virus to deal with because of how infectious it is. To abide by social distancing rules, it is becoming necessary that every player wears a chip. Later on, should contact tracing be necessary, the system will show the people to whom a player came close.
Oura Rings and Proximity Sensing
There are privacy issues when it comes to tracking players, coaches, and staffers off the field. The US sporting arena is at the forefront of developing solutions that will also ease this concern. The best example is ESPN and the NBA’s decision to use Oura rings to keep track of users securely. These smart rings are designed to warn players, coaches, and staffers early if they may have contracted Coronavirus.
The best part about the Oura ring is that no officials in the league have access to actual user data. The system crunches the data into ‘risk scores’ that flag potentially infected individuals. It takes the user’s symptoms such as temperatures as well as proximity data to determine early enough if the wearer may have COVID-19.
We are at the early stage of dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic. What has been achieved so far to normalize sports again is impressive. The technological solutions under implementation will focus on minimizing infection in the field. With time, we hope, better solutions that eliminate the need to keep the fans away will emerge. Until then, the global sporting fraternity has to use the available technology to keep sports alive.