Innovative sensor technology improves biathlon

Save favourite 12 Mar March 2019
Novel sensor technology to enhance analysis of the performance of biathlon and cross-country skiers. Photo: Annacarin Aronsson, Mid Sweden University.

Studies for more than a year inside and outside the biathlon arena in Östersund have now resulted in the release of novel sensor technology that is four times smaller than other systems with the same accuracy, but still 100 times more precise than ordinary GPS.

– Anyone who follows the Biathlon World Cup in Östersund realizes how complex this sport is, with its unique combination of cross-country skiing and shooting. This complexity actually provides possibilities to obtain new insights, through research and development, which can improve the biathlon athletes training and develop the sport even further, says Marko Laaksonen, Associate Professor at Mid Sweden University and former captain of the Finnish and Swedish biathlon teams.

Within the framework of the EU-project "Centre of Health Innovation - Home of Internet of Sports", researchers have developed a small device that can analyze the performance of these athletes in detail. This unit, which employs the GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System), is four times smaller than other systems with the same accuracy, but is still 100 times more precise than ordinary GPS.

– In addition to utilizing global navigation based on both GLONASS (Russian) and GPS (United States) satellites, the system contains a 3D accelerometer and 3D gyroscope, all connected to a smartphone. The custom-designed software enables analysis of biomechanics and performance during both training and competition. All of the data collected can be synchronized with video recordings and used to compare skiers, explains Matej Supej, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Professor H-C Holmberg at the Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre, Mid Sweden University, initiated this pioneering project. His research team also includes Associate Professor Marko Laaksonen and Professor Matej Supej from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Alongside the EU’s regional development fund, both the Mid Sweden University and the Municipality of Östersund have co-financed this project.

– This world-leading research and development project can also improve public health. Clearly, such developments in research on elite sports will result in new products that make recreational exercise safer, as well as more exciting and interactive, says Kee Bergman, project manager and market strategist, Internet of Sports.

Contact: 

Kee Bergman, email: kee at 4eu.se, phone: 0733-756062


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