Courteney Benjamin, MS, CSCS, Associate Director of Communication and Assistant Director of Athlete Performance and Safety
Gabrielle Giersch, MS, Associate Director of Education and Assistant Director of Athlete Performance and Safety
It’s not a secret that the use of wearable technology in sports is a hot topic among many of the world’s leading experts in sports and research. The popularity of this idea led to the creation of the first symposium of its kind called “The Rise of the Quantified Athlete.” Harvard Innovation Labs, Sports Innovation Lab, and OneTeam Collective worked together to create what is sure to be the first of many similar meetings between the world’s leading experts and innovators in sports and technology. At this symposium, there were four panels designed for informing, optimizing, and focusing the use of wearable technologies in sports and a fifth panel of elite athletes centering on their experiences with various technologies.
We were fortunate to attend this meeting at the world-class facilities of the Harvard Innovation Lab on Harvard University’s campus in Boston, MA. This lab “is a unique collaboration and education space designed to foster entrepreneurship and innovation across Harvard.1”
This group worked with the Sports Innovation Lab founders Isaiah Kacyvenski (NFL veteran), Angela Ruggiero (Hockey Olympic Gold Medalist), and Joshua Walker (Researcher) to put on this event. The purpose of this organization is to “identify and evaluate the technology products and services that will power the future of sports.2” OneTeam Collective, the third partner responsible for putting on this event, is an organization “designed to accelerate growth for companies seeking to align with the sports industry.3”
The organizations that attended this meeting ranged from veterans to up-and-coming companies trying to gain a niche in this growing market. In addition to our group from KSI, the following companies and/or organizations were involved in the panel discussions.
Dr. Douglas Casa served on the third panel titled: “Software Changing the Role of Coaches and the Analysis of Athletic Performance” where he was able to discuss the importance of research in development of wearable technologies and how KSI has been involved in that research world. He suggested that every company entering this market should reach out to a third-party research group to validate their device in a peer-reviewed fashion. This type of validation will provide the company and the consumer confidence that their product works.
To wrap up the symposium, the following big names in sports discussed their experience with technology:
Matt Hasselbeck (NFL, ESPN), Ryan Fitzpatrick (NY Jets), Sean Sansiveri (NFLPA), Dr. Leslie Saxon (USC Center for Body Computing), Meghan Duggan (United States Olympic Committee), Paul Rabil (MLL and US Lacrosse), Zak DeOssie (NY Giants), Shawn Springs (NFL), andCraig Adams (NHL).
Overall, this symposium was an awesome start to a much larger, much needed conversation. It seemed that the general consensus with most attendees was that all of the technology and data we are now able to gather is phenomenal. Moving forward, we must all continue to strive to validate every measurement tool, make sense of all of the data these tools are collecting, and determine best practices for using this analysis to make meaningful differences in performance. This is an exciting time to be in this field, in its infancy, when the potential for growth is limitless.
- Harvard i-lab. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2017, from https://i-lab.harvard.edu/
- Sports Innovation Lab (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2017, from https://www.sportsilab.com/
- OneTeam Collective. Retrieved February 23, 2017, from https://www.nflpa.com/oneteamcollective