Zepp first entered the sports-tracking arena in 2013 with a trio of sensors for baseball, golf and tennis. Now, the American company is turning its attention to the world game. Zepp Play Soccer is a small sensor worn on the calf to keep tabs on things like kicks, sprints and distance covered, and can even compile a highlights package for your own post-game analysis.
We have seen a number of soccer balls with integrated sensors that can give measurements of things like power, finesse and trajectory. But these were intended more as training aids rather than in-match performance trackers, and that's where Zepp's new offering is a little bit different.
The sensor is quite small, with dimensions of 1.5 x 0.28 x 1.07 in (38 x 7.2 x 27.2 mm), and slips into a provided calf sleeve to be worn on the player's dominant leg. Here, it hooks up with a smartphone over Bluetooth and uses an accelerometer and gyroscope inside to monitor key elements of your performance.
These include distance covered, max speed, number of kicks and sprints, goal conversion rate and the player's active time. When the whistle blows, players are then presented with a post-game analysis in the companion app. And if you've had somebody film your on-field exploits, the system will automatically generate a highlights reel of your nutmegs and bicycle kicks, provided the shooter tags these key events onscreen as they unfold.
Zepp Play Soccer runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery claimed to be good for 40 hours of playtime. It is available now via Zepp's website and is priced at $US100.