The sports industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by consumer demand, competitive pressures, performance enhancement, injury prevention, and tactical insights and the growing importance of technologies such as sensor technology, machine learning & artificial intelligence (AI), energy harvesting, material science, augmented reality, 3D printing, and biomechanics analysis. In the last three years alone, there have been over 76,000 patents filed and granted in the sports industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in sports: remote athletic performance monitoring. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 49,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the sports industry, there are 10+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.  

Remote athletic performance monitoring is a key innovation area in sports

Remote athletic performance monitoring is a technology-driven practice involving the real-time or periodic assessment of an athlete’s physical and physiological metrics, training progress, and overall performance from a location that is separate from the athlete. This monitoring is typically facilitated through wearable sensors, mobile apps, or other connected devices that collect and transmit data on parameters such as heart rate, speed, distance covered, biomechanics, and other relevant metrics. The remote monitoring allows coaches, trainers, or sports scientists to assess an athlete’s performance, track progress, and provide guidance or adjustments to training regimens without the need for in-person supervision.

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 remote athletic performance monitoring.

Key players in remote athletic performance monitoring – a disruptive innovation in the sports industry

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

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

Patent volumes related to remote athletic performance monitoring

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
NIKE 612 Unlock Company Profile
adidas 70 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 49 Unlock Company Profile
Amer Sports 43 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 37 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 35 Unlock Company Profile
Casio Computer 24 Unlock Company Profile
ROM Technologies 22 Unlock Company Profile
Lululemon Athletica 20 Unlock Company Profile
Fox Factory 18 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 18 Unlock Company Profile
Whoop 17 Unlock Company Profile
Immersion 16 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 16 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 15 Unlock Company Profile
Polar Electro 13 Unlock Company Profile
Interactive Strength 13 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 13 Unlock Company Profile
Astellas Pharma 12 Unlock Company Profile
Pentland Group 12 Unlock Company Profile
Teijin 11 Unlock Company Profile
F45 Training 11 Unlock Company Profile
The Swatch Group 10 Unlock Company Profile
Seiko Epson 10 Unlock Company Profile
The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission 9 Unlock Company Profile
Tonal Systems 8 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 7 Unlock Company Profile
Nautilus 7 Unlock Company Profile
AlpineReplay 7 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor 6 Unlock Company Profile
TDK 6 Unlock Company Profile
Penumbra 6 Unlock Company Profile
Omron 6 Unlock Company Profile
MC10 5 Unlock Company Profile
MAD DOGG ATHLETICS 5 Unlock Company Profile
ICON Eyecare - Management Team 5 Unlock Company Profile
Incus Performance 5 Unlock Company Profile
Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT 5 Unlock Company Profile
Zhor-Tech 5 Unlock Company Profile
Bandai Namco 4 Unlock Company Profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 4 Unlock Company Profile
Trudell Medical International 4 Unlock Company Profile
Technogym 4 Unlock Company Profile
Furukawa 4 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Electronics 4 Unlock Company Profile
Blast Motion 4 Unlock Company Profile
2nd Skull 4 Unlock Company Profile
Rewire Fitness 4 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 3 Unlock Company Profile
ICON 3 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Remote athletic performance monitoring enables personalized coaching, and data-driven decision-making to optimize an athlete’s training, health, and competitive outcomes. The future of remote athletic performance monitoring promises a data-rich and highly connected sports landscape, where technology empowers athletes to reach their full potential, while enhancing their safety and well-being. The combination of wearable technology, AI, and global connectivity will revolutionize how athletes train, compete, and achieve their goals. Some examples of technologies used in remote athletic performance monitoring include NTC app (NIKE), Runtastic (adidas), Samsung Health, Salomon (Amer Sports), Apple Watch (Apple), Google Fit (Alphabet), Garmin connect, Fitbit (Google), and Whoop.

NIKE is one of the leading patent filers in remote athletic performance monitoring. Some other key patent filers in the field include Amer Sports, Casio Computer, ROM Technologies, Lululemon Athletica, and Fox Factory.

In terms of application diversity, DexCom leads the pack, while MAD Apparel and Sportsmedia Technology stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, NIKE held the top position, followed by Lululemon Athletica and Fox Factory.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the sports industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Sports.

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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.