Whether it be a personalized fitness tracker providing insights on how to improve your health, an athlete monitoring system that tracks the performance of an entire soccer team in realtime, or a GPS golf tracker that acts as your virtual caddy, the tracking and analysis of activity-based data became a breakthrough industry over the past decade.
Over the past 10 years I have been fortunate enough to have worked on products relating to all of the scenarios stated above. In the case study below I reflect on my experiences working within the design teams that developed the adidas miCoach Elite System.
In 2011 Adidas engaged Isobar, a global digital innovation agency, to help make the strategic move into wearable tech with their miCoach system, a series of consumer-available wearable computers and mobile and web apps used to help achieve maximum workout performance. In partnering with Isobar, they were able to fuse together real-world problem solving with physical and digital design and technology.
Following the success of this consumer play, Isobar created miCoach Elite, the first system of its kind for use in professional sports that used wearable technology to track player performance of an entire team in real-time.
The miCoach Elite iPad application was designed for coaches to monitor the workload of an individual player, compare one athlete with another or to view the whole team in order to gain a complete picture of their squad.
After the game was over, the data was automatically made available to the coach and team via a secure web application that they could log into to see all of the individual player data as well as the data related to the entire team. This post analysis of data gave coaches and the team insights into the metrics produced by each athlete during a training session or game. Coaches were further able to track player data and performance analysis through customizable tools and shareable reports.
My involvement on the design team was to lead the UX design efforts for initiatives such as expanding the feature sets of both the iPad app and web application to track training sessions over periods of time to provide coaches with trend analysis for their individual players.
I also led the UX for another key initiative that focused on expanding the potential market for the miCoach Elite System to encompass other team sports such as basketball. This was done through the development of new functionality that could track additional athlete metrics such as vertical height and power.
As a result of their engagement with Isobar, adidas partnered with the MLS to deploy the miCoach Elite System for the first time during the 2012 MLS All-Star Game. And beginning in the 2013 season, all 19 MLS clubs used the miCoach Elite System, providing coaches, trainers and players with real-time performance metrics for every game of the season.
In utilizing the system from the sidelines, coaches were able to do everything from analyzing trends to preventing overtraining and risk of injury, maintaining optimum levels of player performance throughout the season.