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 Virtual Reality 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 virtual reality
Utilising virtual reality (VR) for athletic training offers athletes the opportunity to refine their skillset no matter where they are. This innovative environment allows them to practice in the most authentic setting possible, thus providing them with the necessary tools to perform to the best of their ability when it counts. Athletes can develop and perfect their skills using virtual sports training devices, without the risk of getting hurt.
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
Nike is one of the leading patent filers in virtual sports training devices. Some other key patent filers in the virtual sport training devices space include iFIT Health & Fitness, Peloton Interactive, adidas, Neofect, and Lululemon Athletica. Nike has the largest market share when compared to any other sports equipment company and is continually coming up with new trends and inventions in the area of new virtual training tools for athlete performance enhancement.
In terms of application diversity, Alphabet leads the pack. Force Impact Technologies and Lululemon Athletica stand in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Neofect holds the top position, followed by World Golf Systems and Teijin
Virtual sports training or simulated sports training typically utilises 3D images to imitate genuine situations, offering an immersive experience for athletes. Many of these programmes also incorporate virtual reality technology. At the point when one enters a virtual reality setting for training, one ends up submerged in the re-enactment and can acquire practical experience rehearsing specific aptitudes, giving an authentic condition, rehearsing any place, readily available, filling in preparing holes and diminishing preparing effect.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the sports industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Sports.