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Technology in Sports and its future

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

Technology is playing a key role in improving multiple aspects of sports. Here is a quick view on some of the impact areas

1. Improving Viewing & On-Screen Experience- Live technology

Hawk Eye

Used in Cricket, Tennis, Football -

Ball tracking technologies using multiple cameras


Used in Cricket

Uses Oscilloscope to track & calculate the frequency, distortions and wavelength of sound waves

Hot Spot

Used in Cricket

Uses infrared imaging system

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

VAR is being used in Football and has helped in reducing the referee errors related to Goals, Penalties, Red Card decisions and Mistaken identity

Goal Line Technology

Used in Football

It uses a set of high speed cameras focused on the goal to determine the exact location of the football using coordinates

2. Performance Improvement & Analytics


Elo Score

The Elo rating system is a method for calculating the relative skill levels of players in zero sum games such as chess. Many sports now use this framework


uses statistical analysis to analyze baseball records and make determinations about player performance. (ref: Moneyball Movie)



Started by Anil Kumble in partnership with Microsoft. Creates IOT enabled bats which records the key parameters of a player’s performance for live and post match

Adidas miCoach Smart Football

Adidas, has developed IoT powered smart football for German national football team. The IoT sensor has the ability to detect speed, spin, strike and flight path. The app users can see the diagnostics via the smart app.

Wilson’s X Connected

Wilson Sporting Goods developed a smart basketball which has functionality similar to Adidas’ smart soccer ball.

3. Training Support & Tracking- AI Coach, Content, Journals


Social network for runners & cyclists. Connects to all wearables


Run Tracking & Personal record keeping. Connects to all wearables.

Nike Training Club

Digital workouts for Athletes. Also allows logging in nutrition etc.


All in one Health & Fitness platform. Digital

Workouts, Nutritionists & Mental wellness.

4. Talent Scouting- Help identify talent from grassroots


Score keeping & tracking of local matches. Community based approach at grassroot level.

5. Fantasy Sport leagues & e-Sports

Dream 11

Fantasy leagues to simulate actual game


Multi-player Internet based gaming

Online Poker

Poker has been made legal in India. Online Poker becoming very popular.

6. Fan insights and Engagement

Fan Insights

Will help drive better business decisions around sponsorship, fan engagement and media rights. By leveraging the unique insights gathered of fans around the globe, sports properties, including sports leagues and teams, will be able to better understand how to grow and engage with their fan bases, expand into new markets, evaluate media rights, and secure partnerships with sponsors.

Fan Engagement

In-stadia - Wi-fi access, App access, smart stadiums

Home - Live-game interaction, Virtual & Augmented reality, tunnel cams, player interactions

7. Wearable devices for Athletes

Wearable Devices (Monitors, Clothing, Sensors)

  • Devices help teams, coaches, associations collect massive amounts of data such as an athlete’s heart rate, glucose level, breathing, gait, strain, or fatigue.

  • Which in turn can be used to monitor and improve performance


Founded in Australia, is one of the biggest suppliers of Athletics tracking tech in sports. Catapult's GPS performance tracking system monitors every aspect of players providing accurate information and insights


Textile smart sensors that integrate in cutting edge smart garments. Sensors capture signals real-time from body and transmit information to smart devices for analysis

Challenges of Technology in Sports

For Athletes

  • Availability and cost - makes sport and success exclusive to select few athletes and countries

  • More pressure on athletes to stay up to date with latest technology and its usage

  • Personal data being made available

For Officials

  • Slows the game pace

  • A big challenge to have it at all level of competitions

For Spectators & Broadcasters

  • Increases spectator/broadcaster costs - spectators or viewers have to spend more

  • Reduces atmosphere at live events

For Sport in General

  • Questions accuracy of technology

  • Increase in cost to all the stakeholders in sport

About Simply Sport

Simply Sport is a sports policy research & development organization based out of India. Simply Sport’s vision is to promote sports as an effective tool for the development of the nation. It focuses on policy research, grassroot development and use of technology in sports. To subscribe to Simply Sport Newsletters, Research & Articles, please write to You can follow Simply Sport on the Twitter handle @_SimplySport for more sports related content.

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