Innovation in the sports industry is constantly evolving, with activity driven by digital advancements, high-level of social media interactions, broad appeal for immersive sports experience, and fan engagement as well as the growing importance of technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence, IoT, robotics, cloud, data analytics, wearable tech and many more. In the last three years alone, there have been over 48,000 patents filed and granted in the sports industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Internet of Things in Sports: Calorie monitoring exercisers.  Buy the report here.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity. 

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have. 

20+ innovations will shape the sports industry 

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the sports industry using innovation intensity models built on over 101,000 patents, there are 20+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry. 

Within the emerging innovation stage, neurostimulation exercisers is a disruptive technology that is in the early stage of application and should be tracked closely. Environmental sensors, performance monitoring sports equipment, and vitals monitoring exercisers are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are outdoor sporting navigation systems and remote athletic performance monitoring, which are now well established in the industry.  

Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the sports industry 

Calorie monitoring exercisers is a key innovation area in Internet of Things 

Exercising devices and fitness trackers are equipped with sensors to monitor user's physical and fitness activities on vital parameters such as steps covered, calories consumed and burned, heart rate, sleep duration, and VO2. These devices allow to directly interconnect with their daily nutritional values and improve upon the decision-making to obtain desired health outcomes. 

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established sports companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of calorie monitoring exercisers. 

Key players in calorie monitoring exercisers – a disruptive innovation in the sports industry  


‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators. 

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to calorie monitoring exercisers

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
NIKE 449 Unlock company profile
iFIT Health & Fitness 185 Unlock company profile
Peloton Interactive 98 Unlock company profile
Apple 68 Unlock company profile
adidas 61 Unlock company profile
Lululemon Athletica 58 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 52 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 44 Unlock company profile
Amer Sports 42 Unlock company profile
Icon Ip 41 Unlock company profile
LG 39 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 35 Unlock company profile
Woodway USA 31 Unlock company profile
AlterG 30 Unlock company profile
Nautilus 26 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 22 Unlock company profile
Fox Factory Holding 20 Unlock company profile
Dugan Health 20 Unlock company profile
ROM Technologies 19 Unlock company profile
Teijin 19 Unlock company profile
MAD DOGG ATHLETICS 19 Unlock company profile
Beijing Electronics Holding 17 Unlock company profile
Interactive Strength 15 Unlock company profile
TOCA Football 15 Unlock company profile
Polar Electro 15 Unlock company profile
Intel 14 Unlock company profile
Murata Machinery 13 Unlock company profile
Bigben Interactive 12 Unlock company profile
Seiko Epson 12 Unlock company profile
Tau Orthopedics 11 Unlock company profile
AIRBORNE ATHLETICS 11 Unlock company profile
TritonWear 11 Unlock company profile
Nintendo 10 Unlock company profile
Boston Biomotion 10 Unlock company profile
Extreme Networks 10 Unlock company profile
EW Healthcare Partners 10 Unlock company profile
New Balance 10 Unlock company profile
Fossil Group 10 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 9 Unlock company profile
Sato Sports Plaza 8 Unlock company profile
Tonal Systems 7 Unlock company profile
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Angewandten Forschung 7 Unlock company profile
MindMaze 7 Unlock company profile
Lagree Technologies 7 Unlock company profile
Omron 7 Unlock company profile
XFit 7 Unlock company profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 6 Unlock company profile
Safway Group Holding 6 Unlock company profile
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne 6 Unlock company profile
Casio Computer 6 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Nike is one of the leading patent filers in calorie monitoring exercisers. Some other key patent filers in the retailing industry include adidas and Lululemon Athletica. Calorie monitoring devices is one of the accelerating innovation spheres of Internet of Things, where adoption is steadily increasing. 

In terms of application diversity, Lululemon Athletica & EW Healthcare Partners leads the pack. New Balance and Amer Sports stand in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Amer Sports holds the top position, followed by EW Healthcare Partners and Sato Sports Plaza. 

IoT wearables in healthcare are increasingly becoming popular to keep a check on health issues, achieve more accurate and prompt treatment, and visualise the progress of health. The concept of IoT-based monitoring system is leading the way forward in tracking the physical and mental state of a user on a regular basis. 

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the sports industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Thematic Research: Internet of Things in Sport

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.