Vodafone has a new performance dashboard, PLAYER.Connect, which uses data from players’ existing wearable devices, and aggregates it into one platform in real time.
The Vodafone internet of things tech dashboard is currently being used by the British & Irish Lions throughout their 2021 Tour to South Africa.
According to Vodafone, PLAYER.Connect makes player data easy to view and analyse, allowing coaches to make performance decisions and improve player welfare on and off the pitch. The dashboard includes 24/7 monitoring of players’ physical and mental well-being, which informs the decisions made to optimise physical recovery and better prepare for the next match.
The platform also aims to solve several ‘long-standing issues’ in sport performance analysis, according to Vodafone. The brand says that data is currently transmitted via Bluetooth from each individual wearable separately, which must then be manually collated and analysed after the event.
The dashboard combines short-term ‘acute’ GPS, heart rate and impact data, which is delivered live, with additional ‘chronic’ data on off-pitch recovery and physical and mental wellbeing, which is transferred before and after each session. Vodafone says the data then helps provide a holistic view of the wellbeing of both the team and the individual athletes.
The technology is not rugby-specific, with the telecommunications giant saying it can be used effectively across any elite sport, both team and individual. Vodafone will also carry out a review into future commercial rollout of the dashboard across other elite teams and athletes after the Lions Tour.
“The Vodafone PLAYER.Connect platform is a huge breakthrough in performance monitoring,” said Paul Stridgeon, Head of Strength & Conditioning, British and Irish Lions.
“Vodafone’s innovation is supporting our aim to achieve consistently high levels of performance. The dashboard lets us maximise the output of our current monitoring, and is helping us provide detailed analysis of all wellness, training and match data throughout the 2021 Tour.
“We are already starting to see the benefits, and are confident that using this platform will support our ambition to beat the Springboks.”
Vodafone Consumer Director, Max Taylor, added: “We are thrilled to be launching PLAYER.Connect for the Lions, and excited to see it put to the test on the 2021 Tour. This is the perfect example of how our commitment to innovation can make a real difference – on the biggest stage, under the most pressure.
“This platform can help any elite team, in any sport, and we’re excited to see the Lions put it through its paces and show what a difference it can make at the very highest level.”
Vodafone was announced as Lead Partner of the British & Irish Lions ahead of this year’s Tour, and counts a number of Player Ambassadors in the touring squad, including Maro Itoje, Stuart Hogg, Hamish Watson, Tadhg Furlong, and Louis Rees-Zammit.