World I.P. Day #worldipday Reach for Gold on 26th April 2019 takes sports innovation as its main theme. It is a creative world not typically associated with patent activity, but nevertheless is a fascinating area of rising patent registrations.
And the huge volume of sports related patents is amazing. There are currently 64,339 patents for training appliances or apparatus for special sports, 54,704 patents for exercising apparatus for specific parts of the body and 45,770 patents for exercise apparatus for developing muscles of the body.
And as you can see, this trend is on the rise.
In 2019, some of the most valuable sports patents are focused on performance tracking and measurement, and Adidas is a key player in this category. But the world of sports patents are not always dominated by the obvious brands like Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Wilson or Yonex.
DuoTrac, a start up that raised funding via KickStarter, analyses your golf swing and provides real time coaching via a smart app on your phone.
In American football Zebra have adapted and applied technology more usually found in retail inventory to track players using electromagnetic ratio frequency technology, which has huge implications for coaches, fitness coaches and even commentators with access to the data.
And in the world of Taekwondo new sensors in headgear and footwear by Stanford Taekwondo Program, the Palo Alto Research Centre, and Impact Measurement have made huge improvements to refereeing standards and fairness. However, this has led to significant changes to the way that the sport is played, and not everyone is convinced this is a good thing.
So, with technology shaping the way the game is played by the players, all eyes are on the next generation of Video Assistant Referees (VAR) in soccer, looking to see if this changes the players attitude to falling, fouling and feigning injury.
Mercedes AMG Petronius have completely redesigned the steering wheel for Lewis Hamilton’s car. F1 is a notoriously tricky sport to innovate for given the restrictions and rules, but a steering wheel that looks more like an Xbox controller is revolutionary and getting obvious results with Lewis recently becoming F1 champion for the fifth time.
Recently, Apple has been filing many patents associated with sensor technology in sports shoes and whatever it is that Apple are planning, we will probably be amazed. And it is the new entrants, or “disruptors” that are the ones to watch. They are the source of the new breakthrough inventions that move sport innovation forwards.
So how can you predict the future of sport innovation?
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