Global analytics firm teams up with Irish start-up for affordable wearable sports tech
An analytics company that engineers wearable technology for elite sports has teamed up with an Irish start-up to make its product accessible for the amateur sportsperson.
Catapult Sports was born in 2006 after founders Shaun Holthouse and Igor van de Griendt saw an opportunity to capitalise on developing micro technology they were developing for professional athletes.
With origins in Australia, Catapult's equipment now serves 1,250 of the world's elite sports teams across 30 different sports, including the likes of Chelsea, NFL, NBA, Tottenham, Real Madrid and the Australian Cricket Team.
"The black box hardware (inserted into clothing we provide) tracks and transmits back to the analytics team. So when the sports magic starts to happen, we collect data back into the cloud and create actionable insights to help the player train better," Consumer CEO of Catapult Benoit Simeray told independent.ie
However, until now, Catapult's products have been designed with the coach of professional players as the user in mind.
But a collaboration with Dundalk-based Playertek means that amateurs (and individual players) can now get access to elite-level analytics - and at affordable prices.
The product offering has started "moving down the performance ladder and not just geared towards the professional athletes", Mr Simeray, ex head of Tom-Tom and Jawbone, said.
"The coach and the player are not interested in tracking the same metrics."
In April, PlayerTek launched as part of Catapult- and the group has just launched an individual consumer and individual team unit: £199 each/€229 - available at www.playertek.com or on Amazon.
The unit - which includes an advanced GPS module designed for football, along with a range of smart sensors - consists of a sensor pod and an app based platform.
In 2015, Catapult was listed as the 12th most innovative company globally by Fast Company magazine - and number 1 in both big data and fitness.
The firm intends to continue to innovate in the wearable tech space by "adding more verticals that are not just based on training performance".
"Eventually, we are looking at monitoring the levels of stress of an athlete, how the players are sleeping, a more definitive assessment of the sportsperson holistically," said Mr Simeray.