Adidas introduced the concept of “boots with a brain” to the world last fall with the launch of the miCoach-toting Adizero F50 soccer cleat — but that was just the tip of the iceberg. Today, the global sports brand announced the miCoach Elite System, designed to track player performance for an entire team in real-time. The system consists of small, PLAYER_CELL sensors that fit into a TECHFIT elite compression base layer worn under a typical Jersey.
Thanks to an integrated RF transmitter, each sensor transmits a constant stream of data to a ruggedized base station, which coaches can then access on the sidelines via an iPad dashboard, or after the match through a secure web application. Specific metrics monitored by the system include player power, heart rate, speed, acceleration, distance covered, and their position on the field. While we’re sure coaches will value this data during games, the Elite system’s biggest value likely revolves around training, by establishing physical performance benchmarks and goals to beat.
After years of R&D, adidas has partnered with the MLS to deploy the miCoach Elite System for the first time during the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game on July 25 in Philadelphia. All teams in the league will also use the system for every match of the 2013 season. There are no plans to expand the system beyond the professional setting today, but we wouldn’t be surprised if this kind of advanced technology trickled down to amateur levels like college (or filthy rich private schools) sometime down the road. Frankly, as non-aspiring soccer superstars, the biggest appeal of the miCoach Elite System is how it could one day provide real-time player data to live broadcasts. Just imagine seeing the actual heart rates of a goalie and PK kicker right on the screen before the shot is taken. Now that’d be television.
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