Olympians turn to wearables, virtual reality and other digital health tools for an edge in Rio

The Olympics aren’t just for athletes. It’s also an opportunity for sports tech companies – including makers of vitals-monitoring wearables, fitness and training apps, and other digital tools – to show off their technology on an international stage. In Rio, athletes are looking for every edge to compete, and that includes the latest gadgets.Samsung offered gifts to every athelete and included a little bit of digital health flair. As reported by Engadget, Samsung gifted 12,500 Olympic athletes with a special edition Galaxy S7 Edge phone. In addition to an Olympics-inspired design and a built-in Rio Olympics app, the phones came with Samsung’s Gear IconX heartrate-tracking earbuds, which can send data to Samsung’s S Health app.So what technology were Olympians using to gear up for the Summer Games? Well, virtual and augmented reality, for starters. The US Cycling team tapped Solos, a recent Kickstarter sensation that makes smart cycling goggles, to help them train. Solos goggles can display movement tracking data as well as heart rate data streamed from other wearables, giving cyclists near-realtime feedback. The goggles can also communicate with cycling apps like Strava and MapMyRun.One triathlon athlete, Gwen Jorgensen, also used virtual reality to prepare herself for the cycling part of the actual course she’d be biking in Rio. Popular Science has the remarkable story:”To perfect her form, her trainers brought in virtual-reality pioneer Joe Chen. He is a former product lead at Oculus, and now at Vrse.works, the production house that makes VR movies and VR content for big media companies. Chen flew to Brazil and attached a bunch of GoPros to the hood of a car, matching it to the eye height of a cyclist. ‘Then we just drove the course,’ capturing it in 360 degrees, he says. He then converted the entire thing to an MPEG viewable on a Samsung Gear VR headset.”

Source: Olympians turn to wearables, virtual reality and other digital health tools for an edge in Rio | MobiHealthNews

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