Every new wave of computing brings with it big changes. Smartphones have completely changed the way we work, communicate and interact with the world around us. As we begin to wear our tech, with wearable technology, we can expect to see some new changes emerge. And in fact we already have. Wearable technology is starting to change how we manage our health through the use of fitness trackers; the way in which we keep in touch with friends with smart watches; and even how we see the world around us with the use of augmented reality capable smart glasses. Wearable tech is also changing the game of sports and how we make and experience entertainment. Here are just four of the ways wearable tech is impacting sports and entertainment.
- Making music tactile
Music is mostly an audible experience. But what if you could move beyond sound and start to see and feel your favorite song? Subpac is a tactile audio technology that transfers low frequencies directly to your body. The backpack-like device creates a physical, immersive listening experience for music fans while at the same acting as a tool for DJs who want to ensure that they are mixing with the right amount of bass. Wearable LED matrix company, MeU, offers programmable LED panels which can be worn on any piece of clothing. These panels could be programmed to animate the LEDs to mimic the song being played to bring a visual component to the listening experience.
- Transforming film into virtual reality
A great movie can be a magical experience, but even with the help of 3D, there is still a divide between you and the screen. Virtual reality devices like Oculus Rift and upcoming devices like Sony’s Morpheus and Samsung Gear VR are equipping film makers with what they need to break down the screen to create a 360-degree experience. The Canadian Film Centre, 1188 Films and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) recently partnered on projects using virtual reality to bring to life David Cronenberg’s Body/Mind/Change to life. Using the Oculus Rift, viewers were able to experience the creepy “Cronenbergian” world as if it was right in front of them.
- Creating a new POV for sports fans
Smart glasses like Google Glass and Recon Instruments’ Snow2 and Jet are making it possible for professional and amateur sports players to capture the action from their own point of view (POV) using the camera capabilities of these devices. The NBA recently employed the use of Google Glass to provide a unique in-game experience for Orlando Magic fans. And recently, GoPro was introduced into the NHL on referees at the game to show the game from this new angle.
- Building the perfect player
Wearable tech is also elevating the sports game itself by building better players. Devices like PUSH which measure force and strength and tracking devices from the likes of Catapult Sports are being used by sports scientists and coaches to improve the performance of their players and most importantly to mitigate the risk of injury when they train. Wearable devices integrated into helmets are also equipping coaches with the metrics they need to ensure that those tackled in action haven’t suffered from any severe injuries like a concussion.
Exploring how wearable tech is changing the sports and entertainment experience is the focal point for WEST, which will take place on October 21 in Toronto and feature pioneers using wearables to change the game of sports and entertainment.
TELUS is a proud sponsor of WEST.
Tom Emrich is a wearable tech evangelist. He is Founder of We Are Wearables, an organization dedicated to fostering adoption and facilitating innovation in wearable tech through events, education, collaboration and resources. Follow Tom on Twitter at @TomEmrich