The power of integration
Reducing guesswork and risk, the availability of more data is enabling the sector to set clearer goals and create uniquely personalised training regimes for athletes.
However, while optical and inertial capture technologies can be used as standalone systems for focussed applications, the future lies in how combined inertial and optical motion capture will help deepen our understanding of the performance assessment and rehabilitation of athletes.
By fusing optical and inertial technologies – echoing the relationship with Vicon and IMeasureU – it is possible to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts and reap huge analytic benefits. While optical technology has traditionally been limited to the lab, inertial technology takes motion capture technology out to the field. Take our latest IMU, Blue Trident, with its inertial data athlete performance can be analysed in real-time during a training session in tandem with Capture.U, our app-based solution. Plus, we’ve seen our customers integrating the most accurate, real-life data from “in the wild” into the lab for further study to bring a new depth to their biomechanics research.
Alternatively, it is possible to capture both inertial and optical data simultaneously in the lab. This gives analysts and coaches the most comprehensive picture. However, the real prize is for users who combine Vicon’s optical and Blue Trident inertial technologies in the field – and this is where we are seeing some of the most exciting research today.
The integration of the live inertial data feeds from Blue Trident with video outputs from the camera systems is potentially a game changer for those working with athletes in the field. While the numbers are important for sports scientists, for the athlete and the coach having the immediacy of the data alongside the video feed can be incredibly powerful in tailoring training sessions and honing techniques.
Of course, at the heart of these developments is increasing the ability of coaches and athletes to have rapid access to tracking results. This is particularly the case in high-performance rehabilitation settings. Being able to relate data to performance and symptoms, allowing confirmation or modification of subsequent load, will give coaches far more control to optimise every training session.
Real-time feedback must become the new normal as human-sensor technology continues to evolve. As such, the combination of optical and inertial technologies will contribute to the performance improvement of athletes and increase their availability for games – ultimately improving teams’ sporting and commercial performance.