Sunday 17 December 2017

Irish sports app firm teams up with IBM

Clients include Newcastle
Clients include Newcastle

Paul O'Donoghue

Irish sports performance firm Orreco will become the first global partner of IBM in developing a software app to help athletes stay injury free for longer.

The Sligo-based company is backed by sports stars such as Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell. It has worked with, among others, Sonia O'Sullivan, teams in the US NBA and Newcastle United in the Barclays Premier League.

The partnership will see Orreco's data spanning 15 years of sport and more than 1,700 elite athletes fed into IBM Watson, based in New York.

The new app, powered by cognitive system IBM Watson, will be called Coach Watson.

IBM Watson made headlines in 2011 after it comprehensively beat human competitors in the US game show 'Jeopardy!' The computer program, which continuously learns, will help teams find information on medical research and will answer questions on subjects such as player injury and nutrition.

Orreco chief operating officer Fiona Slevin said Watson would help the app, and the company's clients, to analyse and make use of more imprecise data.

"The business is based on data. We know how to build systems and software to capture data such as numbers, which are structured," she said. "At the moment when [clients] look at the data they have to call Orreco to help interpert it.

"[With Watson] the program will give answers to more imprecise questions, will give clients access to the best brains in the business and will be a platform in us scaling the company."

Irish Independent

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