Advances in 3D motion capture technology have added an extra layer of realism to sports video games like FIFA and Madden. But software engineer-turned entrepreneur Mazen Elbawab reckons you shouldn't need to enter a virtual world to move like your favorite athletes. His Heddoko line of sportswear comes equipped with sensors that capture the body's motion, to offer feedback on how you can perform more like the pros.
Elbawab's virtual coaching solution uses compression pants and shirts fitted with textile-embedded sensors to track the wearer's movement. Data is then filtered and processed by a mobile app, which creates a 3D model of the user's body and provides coaching feedback in real time.
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Meanwhile, data is also sent to the cloud for analysis. Over time, a profile of the user is formulated, which is intended to keep tabs on important things like muscle fatigue and the amount of pressure applied to joints. Additionally, this information is presented through a web application and can be accessed by real-life coaches to assess performance.
This isn't the first time that technology has been woven into sportswear in the name of performance tracking. Garments that give feedback on yoga, general health and fatigue by monitoring things like heart rate and respiration have been an area of growth in recent years, with esteemed fashion labels like Ralph Lauren even getting in on the act.
But what appears to set Heddoko apart is the ability to go beyond tracking the metrics offered by the aforementioned products (not to mention bracelets like FitBit and Jawbone) and focus on the biomechanics of the body in action. The company says its solution can help athletes, ranging from amateur to professional, eliminate techniques and movements that can result in injury, more safely manage recovery from injury and help to better understand their body overall.
Athletes looking for that extra edge will need to wait before trying Heddoko on for size. The company says it is now preparing to launch a crowdfunding campaign, with no word yet on pricing. In the meantime, it has managed to make a shortlist of 20 finalists for the Innovation World Cup to be held at the Wearable Technologies Conference in Munich next Monday.
You can hear from Elbawab in his pitch video below.