Wearable lower limb tracking systems will be allowed to be used in official matches for the first time after being awarded certification by FIFA.
Playermaker, a technology company that tracks performance, has had its technology approved by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) and has been awarded the Electronic Performance and Tracking Systems (EPTS) FIFA Quality Programme certification.
Playermaker’s AI wearable tracker straps to football boots to monitor technical and physical performance data including time on the ball, technical balance, kicking velocity, speed, distance, acceleration and changes of direction. The technology was created in 2019.
Wearable tracking devices are frequently worn on the upper body to measure performance data, such as GPS tracking vests, but lower limb wearable systems have only been able to be approved by FIFA to be worn in matches since this year.
The FIFA Quality Programme for EPTS devices was launched for wearable tracking systems in 2017 to ensure that devices do not pose a danger to the players.
In 2023, lower-limb wearable devices were also able to be approved under the FIFA Quality Programme for EPTS.
Playermaker has partnerships with over 200 clubs and academies including Manchester City, Benfica, LA Galaxy and Norwich City, who use its technology to provide performance analytics.
𝙸𝚝 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚛𝚝𝚜 𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚎… 😤 pic.twitter.com/LQsGvu5OTl
— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) June 29, 2023
FIFA’s innovation programme project summary commented on Playermaker’s technology: “Unlike back-mounted wearables, this product enables further-reaching insights into performance and medical disciplines due to the position on the boot generating data on the lower limbs.
“It shows promise to being a cost-efficient alternative for individual and team data collection and in simplifying analysis, thus contributing to making tracking technologies available across more levels of football.”
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