The first CES exhibition,CES Asia 2015, was held in Shanghai, China recently. Although the show was not large in terms of the number of the exhibitors comparing with the CES in the USA, a number of innovative products were seen on the show. Intelligent sports devices, including intelligent soccer balls, intelligent basketballs, and intelligent sports socks are among the most interesting products on the show.
Most of the intelligent sports devices integrated with sensors to collect data and transfer the data to computers or other devices through Bluetooth or other wireless technologies for analysis. Taking Adidas' intelligent soccer ball as an example, when kicked, the integrated sensors in the ball can detect the speed, spin, flight path and impact point, among others, and transmit the data to a computer or a smart phone. Therefore, soccer players or coaches can fine-tune their training plan to improve techniques. Remarkably, similar devices have been seen in China as well. In early May 2015, "Li Ning," a popular Chinese sportswear brand, launched the first intelligent soccer ball, named "WiCore," in the Chinese market.
While intelligent soccer balls and basketballs are mainly designed for professional players, intelligent sportswear is more likely to be adopted by average consumers. The intelligent socks on the exhibition contained infused textile pressure sensors and can accurately collect data on foot landing technique, running form, cadence, pace, distance and speed, among others. In China,some Chinese universities are developing intelligent sportswear that can detect and record users' physiological data like heart-rates. These data are meant to be transferred to backstage analysis to gain a batter view of the users' conditions.
With middle and upper class in China paying more attentions on their healthy, and the rising popularity of sports such as middle-long distance jogging, intelligent sports related market will grow to scale in China before long. Nevertheless, as Richard Jun Li, the Vice President of a research company pointed out:" Further innovations, such as tinier sensors, lighter and flexible batteries, are still required to improve the users' experiences. In the meantime, effectively reducing the costs is also crucial to succeed in the future intelligent sports market."