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13 Jul 2024 World leisure: news, training & property
 
 
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08 Jul 2024

Sensor-enabled running track will generate real-time data to drive performance
BY Kath Hudson

The Feldspar track will use sensors and cameras to give real-time analytics

The Feldspar track will use sensors and cameras to give real-time analytics
photo: Feldspar

A UK-based technology has created a sensor-enabled performance running track with advanced sensors, paired with cameras, to generate real-time data through the athletes’ feet, such as stride length, acceleration rate and max velocity.

An AI-powered data analytics tool and sports tracking software will also be integrated to optimise training for athletes and identify potential areas of injuries.

Feldspar says this is the first major technological advancement in track running in nearly 60 years, laying the foundation for an immersive experience of live athletics.

The performance track will be able to convert significantly more of a runner's energy from vertical to horizontal, as well as providing higher energy return than tracks currently being used for athletic competitions. This will allow athletes to achieve faster running speeds, push the boundaries of human performance and uplevel the experience of the spectator sport.

Alvina Chen, founder and CEO of Feldspar, herself a former international runner, believes this innovation is necessary because running track technology lags behind the advancements of the rest of the kit. "While we have seen a high level of innovation in running shoes, apparel and training methods in recent years, it's incredible that the modern synthetic running track itself has remained largely unchanged since the 1968 Summer Olympics," she says. "There's a huge opportunity to revolutionise this sport."

By digitising the running track, Feldspar is not only providing new avenues for athletes' development and pushing the boundaries of human performance, but also moving athletics towards a new era of exhilarating, high-energy live international events, similar to what we see in other sports, such as football and motorsports.

"Our ambition with our next generation running track is to set a new benchmark for athlete performance and fan engagement for future world competitions, including the Olympic Games, and beyond," says Chen.

The company has secured initial backing from Hong Kong-based investors to develop the prototype, with real-time testing set to begin later this year. Production of the flooring solution is expected to begin in 2025.



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