In a past week's insight, we explored how Nike and Adidas were both attempting to use innovation within sports analytics to gain an edge within their market. Well, just last week another big-name in sports equipment company entered the scene with their first patent application in the Sports Analytics sector. Riddell, one of the top providers of American football gear, has decided to spread its extensive patent portfolio in football equipment design to include a "smart" helmet. While the idea of a "smart" helmet that communicates possible concussion data to the sidelines is not exactly cutting-edge and has been implemented in Riddell's helmets since 2014, their most recent patent includes a technology that goes the extra yard.
Their most recent application (U.S. App. No. 20200188733), teaches a system able to provide the user training opportunities after the most recent bout of physical activity/sport to alter how the person engages in the physical activity in order to increase safety and efficiency. Also, the scope of the invention goes well beyond Riddell's typical football market, listing possible applications in other forms of competitive and non-competitive forms of physical activity. If granted, this patent could put Riddell in a position to take over the protective helmet in not only football but other contact sports as well.
While this may be Riddell's first entrance into the Sports Analytics patent sector, this is not their first sign of interest in the space. In April 2020, Riddell formed a partnership with Catapult, an Australian based sports analytics company founded in 2005 with multiple patents in the sector, in order to combine Riddell's pre-existing smart helmet technology, known as InSite, with the patented football video analytics technology of Catapult. Together, their goal was to provide insight to coaches and players to aid in the advancement of football team performance and player protection. It is clear that Riddell is beginning to see the potential that might be available for them in the sector, so do not be surprised if you see more activity in analytics development incorporated in their emerging technologies.
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