SAP’s Biometric Sensor Technology Being Used by Team AkzoNobel in Volvo Ocean Race

SAP AkzoNobel team

At the Volvo Ocean Race, crew members from team AkzoNobel is donning biometric sensors as part of an innovation project with SAP aimed at helping the sailors to optimize their performance. This is the first time the innovative system is being used in professional sailing.

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The system, which is fully approved by the race organizers and available to all competing teams, is designed to track fitness and recovery levels and analyze whether the sailors are performing at their best.

Five sailors will be equipped with a wrist-based wearable (worn 24 hours a day) which is expected to provide valuable insights into physical conditioning such as fatigue, exhaustion, reaction to weather conditions and stress levels. The data collected could enable the team to make more balanced and informed decisions, based on each sailor’s physical and mental state, reports Team AkzoNobel.

“Having SAP’s new technology available will help us better understand how the sailors are standing up to the rigors of the race,” said team AkzoNobel skipper Simeon Tienpont. “Innovations like this help to push the boundaries of our sport and in the future could help skippers to make better informed decisions about the physical and mental performance of their sailors.”

SAP AkzoNobel team

The biometric data of the crew will be collected using SAP® Leonardo IoT Edge, which is part of the SAP® Leonardo digital innovation system. Once teams arrive at a stopover, the data collected can be run through predictive analytics to help prepare for the next leg of the race.

In addition to bringing a new level of innovation to the world’s toughest offshore sailing event, it’s also an ideal opportunity to test the value of the technology in practice.

“This is an excellent example of how connecting people, processes and things with leading-edge digital technology can improve performance,” said Dr. Tanja Rueckert, President of IoT & Digital Supply Chain at SAP.

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Although its use is optional, if teams do decide to use SAP’s sensor technology, the on-board systems will be identical. It will be up to each individual team how they decide to analyze and interpret the data once it arrives ashore.

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Johanna Mischke
Johanna Mischke () is Editor-in-Chief at WT | Wearable Technologies – the pioneer and worldwide leading innovation and market development platform for technologies worn close to the body, on the body or even in the body. Besides being an expert for wearables and their broader ecosystem she is experienced in the startup world and international marketing. Johanna can be reached at j.mischke(at)