Watson IoT and Sports: Change the Game

By | 4 minute read | July 20, 2016

leadspace image for iot sports

The Internet of Things (IoT) has the power to impact every aspect of your life. From the quality of your sleep, to your commute and how you interact with the city and people around you. The IoT is delving deeper and revolutionizing the way you interact with sports. Athletes, sports fans and venues alike are seeking the benefits of connected technologies. Through the IoT, get ready to surpass your expectations.

Becoming stronger, faster, smarter

For the athlete, IoT and Sports brings a competitive and comprehensive edge to the table. With the Watson IoT and IBM Analytics, you can not only track your own progress, but compare yourself to others, gain access to knowledge and expertise and learn how to recover effectively between training sessions. For example, with Under Armour’s Health Box, athletes can use a comprehensive, connected system to track their progress. These connected devices utilize Watson Analytics to provide data and insights to enhance performance. One feature allows users to input how they are feeling and tracks which workout, diet, and lifestyle choices lead to their “best days.” For example, if the user told the app that on Wednesday, they felt great, the app would indicate which activities the user had participated in on the previous days, cross referencing with information from other great days, to advise the user of their ideal balance between exercise, diet, and sleep. This feature helps users to feel their best, always.

Play like the pros

Connected wearable technologies are revolutionizing professional sports too. Coaches are able to track the amount of effort players are exerting as well as essential recovery times. Using sensors combined with advance analytics, coaches now know if a player took a wrong step and needs to rest their ankle, or if they suffered an injury in a collision. These technological advances are making sports safer for professional  athletes and will soon provide the same support to amateur athletes.


Sensors can also help individuals and coaches to track athletes’ consistency and weaknesses. For example, Shottracker, a basketball wearable, follows the total number of shots a player makes and the number of shots that go in. The company offers sensors for the basketball court that track where players shoot from. As an athlete, it is extremely helpful to be able to analyze exactly how many shots you make, from where, and your accuracy in each position or location. Tools such as these can provide a massive competitive advantage and help athletes train more efficiently, effectively, and safely.

Attend every game – live

IoT is also revolutionizing how sports fans interact with their favorite teams. Real-time weather data, live athlete data and comprehensive training information will transform the sports entertainment industry. Fans who participate in fantasy leagues will have access to more data than ever before. Watching sports will be a more comprehensive experience. Sensor technology will also help to assist referees and officials with judgement calls. Sensors know without a doubt if the ball touched the line or if the opposition made an illegal tackle.

wimbledon tennis fans enjoy using an appWimbledon fans’ enhanced experience with apps

With IoT, fans will be able to compare their own sports abilities to that of the professionals. For example, at Wimbledon we capture and analyze millions of data points court-side and distribute these around the grounds and globe within milliseconds, engaging fans worldwide. Through a state of the art digital platform, fans’ can now interact with the event as they better understand the stats in context; see new and exciting narratives emerging and by being a part of the moments that matter. Learn more about, “How Digital-Era Sports Franchises Pump Up the Fan Experience.”

Your stadium is listening, are you ready?

All sports fans have that at least one venue that captures their heart and imagination –  Fenway Park, Stamford Bridge, L’Estadi Camp Nou, Lambeau Field or anywhere your favorite team plays. IoT can help make this venue safer, more productive and more efficient. IoT can help the venue operators optimize energy use and keep operations costs down. It can better wrap you in an immersive experience with pervasive connectivity. It can analyze social media in real-time and interact with the fans. Imagine the possibilities of being able to interact with your stadium and all of the fans and personalize your experience. From smarter buildings to a full efficient and immersive experience there is so much potential.

What is your IoT competitive advantage?

IoT helps to give context and meaning to current fitness data. Wearable devices, embedded sensors, and smart athletic gear are all pieces of the future of sports. Access to a wealth of information that is digestible, relevant, and real time will transform how we train, cheer, and perform. Smart stadiums and sporting arenas will enhance the physical fan experience whilst connected devices will make remote spectating ever closer to being at an event. What will you conquer with IoT and Sports?  IoT is no a spectator sport, so create your own competitive advantage with the Watson IoT Platform. Learn more from our website or from Information Week about how, “IBM Aims to Bring Sports Venues Into the Digital Age.”