Vicon, a world leader in motion capture, today publishes a new vision paper identifying the key trends and developments that will determine the future of motion capture technology in sports over the next five years — discussing how the technology is now quickly becoming part of the fabric of sport.
Drawing on Vicon’s own experts and industry voices from across academia and professional practice, the report provides a range of perspectives on and predictions for the future of motion capture technology in sporting contexts, touching upon just some of the ways the technology will bring new value to the industry — helping athletes, coaches and sport scientists enhance performance, accelerate development and prevent injury from the elite to the grassroots.
Some of the key trends for the next 12 months and into 2025 include:
The rise of inertial and wearable sensors
Advances in technology over the last few years means that wearables and inertial sensors — used to measure and analyse athlete movement in minute detail without the need for cameras —have become more accessible than ever.
Not only are they now more affordable and light-weight for portability, in combination with intuitive apps, they make it easier for anyone to be able to analyse and understand the data being captured — from elite performance analysts right down to grass roots coaches and consumers.
With this in mind, we’re likely to see the use of wearables and inertial sensors move from the fringes of sports to the mainstream.
Tracking athletes in-competition
Wearable sensors will give physios and sports scientists access to athlete data away from training — which is especially important when it comes to monitoring for injuries and minimising the risk factors. Simply put, athletes can fully expect 24/7 tracking to become the norm.
But an even greater prize for researchers and athletes is the possibility of extending data collection to in-competition tracking — a level of detail that we have limited access to today.
By 2025 however, it’s likely we’ll see real-time video tracking become available for in-competition monitoring to extend data collection from beyond athlete training scenarios to full competitive environments.
The new vision paper also looks in detail at the use of motion capture within app-based tracking solutions, the use of virtual reality (VR) for next-gen training and the synchronisation of optical and inertial tracking to enable more powerful insights than ever before.
Imogen Moorhouse, CEO at Vicon, commented: “Technology has a huge role to play in enabling a greater understanding of athlete performance. But despite the growth in the use of motion capture, we are still a long way from extracting maximum value from motion tracking technology.
“As a company that is focused on innovation – working closely with researchers and teams to push the boundaries of what is possible with motion capture – we want to ensure we continue to lead the way in the future of sports science and biomechanics. As such, we have published this new vision paper to not only identify the key trends impacting sports, but also to suggest pathways that will set new standards and goals within the industry.”