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NIR wearable technology could change the way athletes train

22 February 2018 | News
by Ian Michael

Scientists from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, are developing smart clothes with embedded near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy sensors to improve the way athletes train. Kevin Reilly, Behnam Molavi and Babak Shadgan have designed the smart garment capable of monitoring important performance metrics through software and NIR spectroscopy sensors and embedded in the fabric.

“With our technology, coaches know how fast their athletes are burning energy and how much fuel they have left in their tank—giving coaches a competitive edge by allowing them to change their strategy in real time,” said Reilly. He added that the system can provide direct insight as to how well athletes are recovering, whether they are at risk of injury, and whether they are physically prepared for competition.

“If an athlete is injured, the coach can see how the injury is progressing and they can steer a middle course between being too conservative or too aggressive in their training programs,” added Reilly.

The team is working with the Burnaby Hockey Academy, University of Northern British Columbia sport scientists and other Canadian athletes to perfect its wearable prototypes, with a final production prototype projected to be ready by the autumn of 2018.

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