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, Internet of Things (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 Cloud in Sports: Virtual sport training devices.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 101,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the sports industry, there are 20+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Virtual sport training devices is a key innovation area in Cloud
A Virtual Reality (VR) sports environment allows athletes to accelerate their training regimen when they do not have access to the usual tools or field. By taking advantage of cloud-based virtual sports training equipment, athletes and coaches can access data from anywhere in the world. Cloud-based virtual sports training equipment can provide a comprehensive analysis of the performance of the athletes and teams, as well as the performance of the equipment itself. The data can be quickly analysed and used to identify areas that need improvement.
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 100+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established sports companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of virtual sport training devices.
Key players in virtual sport training devices – 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 virtual sport training devices
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
NIKEis one of the leading patent filers in virtual sports training devices. Some other key patent filers in virtual sports training devices industry include iFIT Health & Fitness, Peloton Interactive, adidas, and Neofect. Nike has the largest market share when compared to any other sports equipment company, and is constantly emerging with new trends and innovations in the area of virtual sports training equipment for athlete performance enhancement.
In terms of application diversity, FitStar Labs leads the pack, while Alphabet and Force Impact Technologies stand in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Sato Sports Plaza holds the top position, followed by Neofect and World Golf Systems.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the sports industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cloud in Sports: Virtual sport training devices.