Future of Technology in the World of Sports

Sports have been a large part of human life since their origin over fifteen thousand years ago beginning with races and wrestling. There is something about the physical competition to see who is the superior athlete that draws this passion out of people. Whether they themselves are competing or not does not matter. I think this is in large part due to our natural desire to reach the pinnacle of the potential of the human body and if someone does not feel the desire to reach this pinnacle themselves then they often turn to professionals to fulfill this desire. This being the case many people do not like that technology is starting to play a larger role in the sports world. Some see technology as an unfair advantage or as athletes perhaps taking the easy way to the top, but the technology is coming and there is not much that can stop it. The focus of this post will be to show how far technology has come and where it will be going from here and how it will affect the games and the culture around them. The sports that will be the main focus are football, baseball and the running of marathons. Just in the past ten years technology’s involvement in the sports world has increased tremendously and shows no signs of slowing down. Today we have technologies that can somewhat monitor athletes to detect injuries as they happen, but the technology that is coming has much more potential. From injury detection to performance enhancement and smart clothing the future looks very different from what we are accustomed to today.

In the past, there was little to no technology involved in running a marathon. If you look back at images of runners in the 80’s, 90’s, or even the early 2000’s runners wore a tank top, shorts, and maybe a watch. If you look at images today, it looks very different. I’ll begin with clothing. When speaking of clothing I do not mean changes in fashion, but how the clothing that the runners wear has an effect on their performance. Today runners wear compression pants, shirts, sleeves, etc. to keep their muscles warm and because they are wind resistant, so the run will overall be easier. There is a lot more thought into how little factors can affect their performance today. Now onto wearable technology. Every front runner that you will see running a marathon today will have at least one piece of wearable technology if not more. These wearable technologies include but are not limited to things such as heart monitors worn on the wrist and glasses with a microphone and earbuds, so runners can talk to their coaches while competing to make adjustments to best aid their performance. These “wearables” as they are often referred to have clear-cut benefits to the runners. But the future holds so much more for them. In the future the clothing that I mentioned before will be combined with the wearables to make smart clothing for the runners. It is planned that wearables will become completely obsolete to the professional runner or any athlete(Sports Illustrated). This clothing will be considerably more accurate and have a wider range of possibilities. With a smart shirt for example you could more accurately track a runner’s vitals while they are competing or with something like smart pants or leggings factors such as stride length or how the impacts of running are affecting the athlete’s muscles could all be monitored by coaches or the health staff(Humanizing Tech). This would be revolutionary for injury prevention, detection, and recovery. With these monitors you could see the signs of an injury coming and stop it from happening or stop it before it gets worse. In the case of recovery, the athlete could actively monitor their own recovery while it is happening. I personally do not see this having much of an impact of the sport and its culture. This technology’s purpose is to keep the athletes healthier and help them train and perform more efficiently. In essence this technology can help these athletes reach their highest potential while keeping the sport the same as it has been for years, so I do not see anyone being against it.

Baseball is another sport that until recently there was very little technological involvement. There have been radar guns in baseball for a long time but that was pretty much as advanced as it got for a while. Then technology slowly began to become more integrated into the game. Things such as digital strike zones to see how accurate the umpire is, technology that can determine how far a home run went or would have gone if it were not obstructed. Today we have all of these things and more. There is technology that a baseball player can attach to the knob of their bat and it records the path of the bat and can give instant feedback. This allows players to improve their swing and their performance significantly faster. Now for the future of baseball. There are plans to integrate the swing tracker into the bats themselves, so players can review the swings they take in game. There are cleats that are being developed called G-Force cleats which are made to maximize the force created and transferred by the athlete’s lower half, so they can hit and throw the ball as hard as possible(Intel). Something that I found interesting is that these innovations are aimed to make the game more exciting. In recent years baseball’s viewership has fallen behind those of football and basketball. So, it is believed if baseball players can hit more homeruns and throw faster pitches that more people will watch, and our so-called nation’s pastime will truly be worthy of the name. It is not too surprising that baseball will also use a lot of the same technology as the runners for a lot of the same reasons, but they also use it for baseball specific reasons. For example, there is a sleeve that is being developed to monitor the stress put on a pitcher’s arm, so they can see the fatigue in the pitcher’s arm and avoid injuries. Again, the health related technology is nothing but beneficial to the athletes so there should not be any changes to the game or the game culture. And the technology with the bat and the cleats are the same way in that they will only make the players better. Something to think about though is that since some of these inventions are only to increase viewership is the game already changing before the technology gets there. It seems that they are trying to make baseball a game in which multiple pitchers are throwing over one hundred miles an hour and homeruns go over five hundred feet regularly. I see baseball changing no as much just because of the technology, but because of the corporate side of the game. I can see baseball looking extremely different from what people are accustomed to today.

And lastly there is football. Just like the other sports there was little to no technology used in football in the relatively recent past. However, unlike the other sports football has a history of horrible injuries in particular head injuries. The helmets that were used in the past protected the outside of the athlete’s head but did very little to protect the brain itself. Concussions were very common and often would go undiagnosed. Then once cases of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) became more common the helmets that were used improved, but there are still plenty cases of CTE and still a lot of head injuries in the sport. CTE for those who do not know is a brain condition caused by repetitive brain trauma in which protein builds up in the brain and kills brains cell. Signs are memory problems, aggression, depression, and suicidal thoughts. With this condition being increasingly more common the NFL and associate companies have created helmets that decrease concussive forces, but there is no answer yet. There are plans for mouth guards that will have a chip implanted in them they can detect when a player has or may have a concussion(Stanford). There have also been talks for a long time now about sensors in helmets that can detect concussions, but I am not too sure if there is anything in the works yet. In the future there will be sensors in the ball and on the pylons in the goal line, so we will know when the ball crosses for a touchdown. Virtual reality will also begin to get integrated into the training of football players(HitLab). The athletes could see what it is like playing the team they are up against that week seven days before the game giving them a clear advantage to be able to see exactly what their opponent does. In addition, football can and most likely will use all the wearable technology or smart clothes that I have already mentioned because all the aspects in those two sports are also found in football. It may seem that there is not a lot of football specific innovation especially because all the injuries, but there are reasons for this. First, there is only so much that can be with a helmet and shoulder pads without putting the player at risk. And also, there is not much that can be done to prevent the injuries that occur in football because it is a contact sport and no amount of technology in the athlete’s equipment can stop a bone from breaking or ligaments, it can really only detect if it happens or alert if there are signs that it will happen. The concussion/ CTE detection technology unlike the others can have a large impact on the players of the sport in ways other than their day to day health. If problems like CTE could be detected as it happened the athletes would most likely end their careers significantly earlier than they do today. If one day the technology is found that CTE can be detected as it is forming it could mean the end of football. If it is found that CTE begins to develop at a young age, then parents will not allow their children to play and we could very well see the death of the most popular sport in the country. This can cause a lot of confliction since it is so popular. If people know that this could lead to the end of football they won’t want it to be involved as much, but at the same time how could you possibly withhold the tech if you have it. I am personally conflicted because I love the sport and would hate to see it disappear, but I would like to know if I was developing a condition that would take years from my life if it was an option. Although this technology could lead to the downfall of something near and dear to millions of people I think if it is developed it needs to be used for the greater good.

There is one technology that alone has the potential to completely change the standard of excellence across all sports as we know it. It has been called neuro-hacking or neuro-coaching. This is the stimulation of certain areas of the brain to enhance performance. This has all the benefits of steroids and so much more with little to no downside. This stimulation can make competitors faster, stronger, and have more endurance, but can also make them react faster and predict motions with a higher rate of success(Neurocoaching). This can and probably will change the world of sports as we know it. That may seem extreme, but imagine watching Michael Phelps swim when he is over thirty percent stronger than he was before or Usain Bolt with the same treatment. It would be unbelievable to see these people who are already capable of such amazing things could possibly be so much better than they are now. This would revolutionize the world of sports as we know if this becomes a common practice. This technology would change every sport that is played today. Although the culture of these sports would not be affected much the sports themselves would be very different. All of the best athletes in the world would be significantly better than they are now and the performances we are currently accustomed to seeing now would be unimpressive compared to what we would see if this becomes a common practice. The only issue with this is that contact sports would be hurt by this. With the significant strength gains the competitors in contact sports would get injured significantly more than they currently do. I believe it should be a part of certain sports because we would see many amazing feats, but not all because it could lead to their demise.

Sports have been a part of human culture since they were created thousands of years ago. Since then sports have changed a lot and are played for some of the same reasons, but also a lot of different reasons as well. Many people do not really see a place for technology in the world of sports because they feel that it takes away from the purpose. I personally believe that the upside outweighs all of the potential downside since there is very little. I see very little room for opposition with most of these technologies just because of the fact that very few of them actually change the sports. But like it or not technology will continue to integrate more and more into sports and sports as well as the athletes who play them will change dramatically in the future because of it.

http://futureof.org/sports-2016/neurocoaching/

https://www.si.com/edge/2016/12/27/sports-tech-2017-wearable-technology-future

https://humanizing.tech/the-future-of-sports-tech-96dff116e3cc

https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/five-trends-shaping-future-sports

http://www.hitlab.org/healthy-innovations/2017/6/the-future-of-sports-technology-and-its-promise-for-healthcare

How Baseball Technology Will Change the Game

Medical Applications for 3D Printing

We are reaching a level of technology in which we can create new organs using 3-D printers and it is completely revolutionary in the world of health care. If we can make this a consistent practice the world would be a very different place. First the people who die every day way for organ transplants wouldn’t die because there wouldn’t be a waiting list because any organ that is needed could be made and surgically implanted into the patient. People with heart disease, cancers, you name it could just have the affected organ or area removed and replaced with an entirely new and completely healthy organ. Average lifespan would also increase greatly due to the as we age our organs begin to stop working or stop working as well as they used to, but now they can just be replaced. The amount of lives that would be saved is almost unimaginable. There are also potential downsides to this. As much potential good as there is for this there are problems that will be created if this becomes a practice. The first and probably most obvious is over population. If people live significantly longer and people no longer die from certain ailments then the population would increase a significant amount. This can cause food shortages along with a multitude of other problems. There would also be a lot of waste created from this as well. During the production of pretty much anything there is some waste and the amount that would be getting produced would cause a lot of new waste and in turn cause a lot of harm to our environment. In my opinion this practice should be used but only for certain cases. I am not exactly sure what these cases should be but there needs to be conditions that have to be met in order to receive this treatment or the harm that is caused will out weigh the good.

https://www.circa.com/story/2017/02/03/whoa/could-westworld-ever-be-a-reality-this-doctor-is-already-3d-printing-tissues-and-organs

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2015/02/11/4161675.htm

 

Infographic

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1hLmUy5GAeSJKemquubOvU_yiAYzhZOEY

This is a short look into some of the technology that will be making its way into the sports world in the relatively near future.I decided to do it this way because  currently there are not many or any statistics to be found do to the fact that these inventions have yet to be created or they are not in distribution. I chose these specific items because I  thought they were very interesting innovations that could not only revolutionize injury prevention and detection but also completely change the standard of excellence that we have today.

 

Converse v. Wal-Mart

This suit is based on the claim that Wal-Mart was violating a trademark that belonged to Converse by selling knock off versions of their shoes. Converse made this same claim against around 30 different companies and pretty much all of them gave in to Converse Wal-Mart is really the only one to fight back. They say that the toe caps, toe bumpers, and stripes that Converse claims to own are aesthetically functional so they should not be protected by trademark. Wal-Mart sees Converse’s suit as a way to extort money and remove competition so  people have to buy their shoes. We obviously do not know what Converse’s real goal is but one of them is definitely to remove the competition to increase their success. In the end Converse won the legal battle against Wal-Mart. This means that no one other than Converse can make shoes of that style. I don’t see this making people buy many more Converse shoes than before the suit personally. They were not overly popular to begin with and it was not due to the fact that all of those other companies were infringing on Converse’s trademark rights. In addition to basically creating a production monopoly on that style of shoe it makes the other companies shoes more rare and in turn more valuable. Now obviously the cheap versions will not suddenly become valuable, but the Polo version for example will become more desirable because many people have a fondness for Polo and use it as some type of symbol of wealth or class so they will be more willing to spend more money on their version of the shoe. This is just what I believe could happen but in reality only time will tell. Overall i do not see this suit as one that will have much of an impact on anything, but that is only my opinion and again we will just have to wait and see.

Copyright

https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/copyright-issues-for-social-media

This article is focused on how in the future the posts that we make on social media could eventually be protected by copyright laws. This would cause significant changes in how we use social media. This is due to the fact that if there were copyright laws on social media today there would be thousands of infringement cases daily. Either the social networks would have to figure it out or maybe a third party but with all the retweeting and sharing that goes on on social media today it would be a mess. This would lead to either a change in social media or the crash and burn of social media.

 

https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/sharing-vs-stealing-5-myths-and-legal-truths-about-online-copyrights/

This article shares five commonly believed myths about copyright laws. These are all pretty simple misconceptions that many people believe to be true. Examples include that if it is not explicit that something is protected by copyright laws that it is not protected and that if the author wanted their work to be safe that they shouldn’t have put it on the internet. This is important so people know when they are infringing when they may have thought otherwise. This will help protect mostly online works from the people who were unknowingly infringing on copyrights.

Writing Tools

The tools I decided to review are Jet Pack and Grammar Byte. Jet Pack is useful in that it checks grammar, spelling, and style. It is very similar to spell check but is useful in places that do not have spell check or their version is not as detailed to add in style as something that it evaluates.Jet pack will also back up your work so it does not get lost. This is a feature that spell check and some other programs do not offer.

Grammar Byte is a site that covers a wide range of potential uses. It provides exercises, videos, lists of terms, online courses, presentations, and they will even review something a give you feedback. It can help with anything to a simple grammar question to teaching you everything you could need to know and testing your knowledge and grading your performance. It is also useful for people of all ages. There is more complex information for adults or people in higher levels of education and there are also things that are useful for the more simple grammar issues that can be used for teaching elementary level  or middle school level students. The website is on the simple side so it is very easy to use and there is little room for confusion while using it. Overall I found both of these tools to be rather useful and pretty easy to use and would recommend to others who need to write frequently.

Net Neutrality Today

Without net neutrality in Portugal, mobile internet is bundled like a cable package

The argument over net neutrality has not only something that we have been covering quite a bit in class but also it has been a world-wide debate in all countries. This article only briefly mentions the U.S. because its main focus is countries that lack net neutrality. The example they use is Portugal. In Portugal the people have to pay for specific packages of apps they would like to use and if they use apps outside of their package they have to pay extra. This is something that we haven’t really spoke about as a class but it is very possible for ISPs to do, clearly since some already have. Imagine only being able to use a certain handful of apps and you have to pay monthly just to have access. Not only does it hurt the people who have to pay for use of otherwise free apps, but it also hurts startups because their apps either aren’t in a package or people just won’t pay the premium to use their app. This decreases the potential for new companies to come into view or have success almost entirely because apps are obviously a large part of people’s lives. Not only do people like apps, but if you think about it almost every successful company created this millennia has an app or started as an app. How can new companies start if no one knows that their app exists.

Comcast and Verizon Want Ajit Pai’s FCC to Block States From Passing Own Internet Laws

While it may seem that the net neutrality scene is currently quiet, I personally have not been hearing much, but there seems to be some work in motion and it is not in favor of net neutrality. The large ISPs such as Comcast and Verizon have been meeting with Ajit Pai who is the head of the FCC. In his time in this role Pai has favored the ISPs so what is going to happen is currently unknown. These meetings were the ISPs’ effort to stop states from making their own internet policies so they would have more freedom from the federal government and state governments couldn’t do anything to stop them. They also spoke about changing the classification that the ISPs fall under. They are currently classified as Title II common carriers which mostly prevents them from censoring their customers content. If the classification is changed then any net neutrality that we have will basically be gone. If these companies are allowed to censor content or “pick a winner” as it is often called then the consumers would face similar issues as the people in Portugal in the above article. They would have a limited amount of options of services that they could use based on what the providers decide. This is why we need to make sure the interest of the people is taken into account. Decisions are about to be made that can change everything and if law makers focus on the corporations the people could really be hurt.

Net Neutrality

The articles I chose were The Net Neutrality Debate in 2 Minutes or Less and Net Neutrality Prevails in Contentious FCC Vote. These articles are similar in that they mostly just state both sides of the argument, who is on each side, and why they choose to support that train of thought. In simple terms this debate is to decide what internet service providers can and cannot do.

Those who support Net Neutrality believe that if we just allowed the internet service providers run free that large corporations would just pay more and basically take over the internet. They say that smaller business would basically lose their online presence because the larger companies would be able to pay for better services and this would take away from smaller companies. This would also allow providers to provide their services at a lower quality to their competitors. This would basically force a monopoly in which ever field is involved. For example if there was no net neutrality a company such as Comcast could reduce the quality of Netflix service on their internet. This would lead to people watching less Netflix and more cable television which means more money for companies like Comcast.

Those who are against Net Neutrality are mostly the large internet service providers and some politicians. They say that if there is net neutrality there would be less investment in the spread of their services and internet quality would decrease. They claim this is because some companies use significantly more internet service than others and if the providers can’t charge them more so they can build a larger fiber optic network then the internet could essentially crumble. The problem with this is the problems that are stated above. With little to no regulations on how these providers provide their service they can do whatever they want or whatever they need to do to increase their profits. They could lower the quality of normal service and then provide a premium option that is no better than what the users use to have. And there is nothing that we as consumers can do because we would not just stop paying for internet. We live in a world that depends on the internet quite heavily and if there were no rules for the providers we would have not option but to accept whatever it is that they decide to. This is why we need neutrality. Not just for the businesses and corporations, but also for the average user.

Is Online Learning The Answer?

In his Ted Talk Ken Robinson touches on the topic of education. He begins with the statement that humans waste their talents because they don’t even know that they have any. He goes on to blame this on education due to its structure. The lower levels essentially condition students for higher college. They never really help students find there natural talents. All of this leads him to the conclusion that education needs to be reformed and treated organically rather than industrially.

Online learning is a viable option to achieve the reformation of education. The regular classroom has hold backs such as limited resources and teachers can’t teach every differently based on there talents, but this could be easily achieved with online learning. Every student’s education could be completely customized for them. And it would allow them to learn however fast or slow they need to. And it could always change as they progress through the education process. This would mean that every person could get the education that is absolutely the best for them and they will live their lives to their full potential and our society would be much better off without the waste of potential.

When speaking of waste i don’t mean purely from a productive point of view. But so many people spend their entire lives hating what they do. If the education system helped people find what they liked to do and what they were best suited to do then more people would not just be working to get to the weekend and would enjoy what they do. In the talk Robinson says that if you tell some people to stop what they do for a living that they would answer with something like I can’t its part of who I am. If more people were this way we would live in a different world.

Digital Search

http://www.gemalto.com/govt/identity/digital-identity-trends (Digital Identity)

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/11/09/what-is-digital-literacy.html (Digital Literacy)