Guided missile technology to prevent sport’s injury

It is a know fact that sports is one of the most technology advanced field: in the last few years we’ve seen athletes become living labs with biometric sensors attached all over their body, wearing smart wrist bands, shoes with sensors, intelligent t-shirts, and so on.

Now we are seeing the interaction of military technology and sports training: an article from the British Journal of Sports Medicine explains how a Cricket team in Australia is using guided missile technology to prevent injury.

“The algorithm relies on the interaction of accelerometers, magnetometers and gyroscopes housed within wearable devices. When the algorithm picks up a delivery it measures the bowling intensity providing both immediate and long term workload analysis.”
The same approach is already being tested in a number of sports, such as:

  • rugby
  • baseball
  • racing walking
  • golf
  • trampoline
  • skiing
  • tennis
  • track and field


A recently published article focuses on rugby collisons using microtechnology: in the study they used the Catapult Optimeye S5 Sensor, a sensor that can be worn on the legs.

The catapult is already widely used by US NFL teams and many soccer teams worldwide, including Chelsea FC, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, and of course a wide array of rugby teams.

Catapult Optimeye S5In case you are looking for other sensors, Vandrico, in cooperation with Deloitte, is maintaining an excellent database on every wearable device available. You can even browse using an interactive map where you can select the body part to which the sensor is attached.


The categories they identified are the following:

Entertainment 42 Devices
Fitness 184 Devices
Gaming 24 Devices
Industrial 66 Devices
Lifestyle 221 Devices
Medical 86 Devices
Pets  – 8 devices
What we found quite surprising is that by using the search function, we couldn’t find many results on the use of machine learning and similar keywords. We tried the following:

artificial intelligence: 0 devices
machine learning: 1 device (by the way, it costs $ 3500,00 and is similar to google glasses)
deep learning: 0 devices
Of course this doesn’t mean these technologies aren’t being used, but within such a wide database we were expecting at least a few devices dealing with prediction in sports application. Of course data can be processed later by software supported or not by AI.


McNamara, D. J., Gabbett, T. J., Naughton, G., & Orchard, J. W. (2016). How submarine and guided missile technology can help reduce injury and improve performance in cricket fast bowlers.

Hulin, B. T., Gabbett, T. J., Johnston, R. D., & Jenkins, D. G. (2017). Wearable microtechnology can accurately identify collision events during professional rugby league match-play. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.


catapult s5

Vandrico map navigation for wearables
Vandrico map navigation for wearables

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