Wearable Devices for Volleyball

Sun is shining, flowers start blooming, and first people bravely leave the houses without their winter jackets. Besides being in the mood for ice cream this means for me that it is about time to leave the stuffy halls because the beach volleyball season comes closer.

Who of you plays volleyball more or less regularly will agree that it is kind of difficult to find an adequate tracking device for this sport. But lately there are companies coming up with solutions focusing on wearables for (beach) volleyball including some very nice functions a regular activity tracker cannot measure.

Swatch’s Touch Zero One is an activity tracker with lots of nice features for the sport – so the device can track and record the power of a player’s smash, counts steps, distance covered, calories burned and connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth. For the excited audience it can measure the power and number of the claps. Touch Zero One has a touch display, is waterproof and – what sounds pretty convenient: the battery life shall last up to several months (Swatch will use its own long-life batteries). The virtual coach helps you to improve your activity level, performance and to reach your goals. The device will be launched at the Europen Beach Volleyball Championships in July in Klagenfurt and will be available in summer for about 140€.

VERT is a miniature inertial measurements unit (IMU) allowing players and coaches to see real-time jump height and jump count data anywhere any time. VERT can be clipped to your clothing or worn as active waistband. The collected data is transmitted to the smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth (at the moment it’s only available for iOS). The company partners up with USA Volleyball to monitor the athletic performance and can detect the player load and evaluates high performance tryouts. VERT can measure the athlete’s jump height, average jump height, amount of jumps and more – all in real time. This way, the full potential of the athlete can be understood and maximized, and injuries can be prevented (for example by detecting early signs of fatigue). The device is available for about US$ 125; the team pack costs about US$ 750.

I know many volleyball players who are no fans of wearing a wristband whilst playing volleyball. But the functions of the Touch Zero One are certainly pretty cool for people willing to improve their abilities and are interested in having a more detailed overview about their performance. Or just for fun. VERT can be a great assistant for sports enthusiasts and (semi-) professional teams focusing on improving their skills. I am excited about those devices and hope there will be more coming up in the future.

PS: If you are playing beach volleyball but are more concerned about getting a sunburn than tracking your activity level and performance, you should have a look at our article Wearable Tech Detecting Invisible Threads presenting some devices giving insights about the time you can spend in the sun according to your skin type and the sun’s intensity.

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