Talent and training will always be the main ingredients in athletic achievement.
However, new technologies can help sportspeople better reach their potential, monitor progress and avoid injury.
Here are some Israeli inventions in sports-tech you’ll want to know about if you’re serious about maximizing your athletic performance.
To further explore updates and opportunities in the wider sports-tech field in Israel, check out this November’s Sports Tech Nation conference taking place in Tel Aviv.
Yopi’s first-of-its-kind connected sensor is worn on the arm to monitor oxygen consumption (VO2) through electrolytes in the sweat.
Measuring VO2 – volume and oxygen — is the American Heart Association’s gold standard for determining cardiorespiratory fitness. But until now, the only way to measure VO2 was through a mask device.
“For the first time, we can take the lab outside and check each athlete’s VO2 max” – the maximum rate of oxygen consumption attainable during physical exertion, says Dr. Danny Hadas, Yopi’s medical director.
“Using that, we know the heart’s real ability and the amount of oxygen the athlete needs to increase ability,” says Hadas.
The oxygen consumption data that Yopi provides from sweat is then used to adjust the training plan and diet. It’s being touted as a potential gamechanger in sports cardiology, allowing each athlete to train according to his or her physical condition.
Yopi’s founder and CEO, Ironman competitor Hemi Re’em, says he saw the need for the product after discovering he had “problematic genetics” affecting his heart.
“I was measuring heartbeat all the time but it didn’t give me a clue that my coronary arteries were blocked,” he tells ISRAEL21c. “I realized that we have to monitor ourselves in a better way. The technology can also save lives because the sensor data analysis can predict a cardiac event.”
Yopi is running a crowdfunding campaign with the goal of commercializing this summer, starting with a running group in Israel and then with running and cycling groups abroad.
Sency started out in 2020 with a “Movement-OS” (operating system) app using computer vision to assess users and create a customized daily exercise routine to do without any equipment other than a mobile device.
In 2021, Sency put its Movement-OS into the WODProof CrossFit workout recording app, also an Israeli development. The enhanced WODProof app is now used monthly by about 100,000 athletes looking for full training programs, personalized mobility exercises, a tracker, a recorder and AI coaching.
Sency, which also offers a branded fitness app for “the average Joe” and white-label apps for healthcare providers, is the official mobility partner for the USA weightlifting team.
This bright (literally) and fun customizable reaction training system – consisting of light-up sensors connected to a smartphone app — provides simultaneous cognitive and physical stimulation to boost athletic performance.
BlazePod is used by athletes and trainers in fitness, basketball, soccer, martial arts, tennis and even physical therapy.
“Top-tier athletes train not just to build muscle, but also to increase hand-eye coordination and reflex speed,” said Liverpool FC GK Coach John Achterberg in a testimonial. “BlazePod can do all three at once.”
The IntelliGym platform, based on an Israel Air Force brain-training system, is designed to enhance young soccer and hockey players’ awareness, anticipation, decision-making, concentration and execution — which in turn improves performance and reduces the chance of injury.
Just as the system improved pilots’ scores in the cockpit by 30%, it has been found to improve playing skills by 30% in both sports as IntelliGym-trained players are faster at adapting and reacting to the changing reality on the field.
Targeted initially to youth soccer, Playform is an AI-powered mobile app that captures hundreds of data points from each drill to provide real-time feedback on how to improve each player’s physical, technical and mental skills.
This training technology produces constantly updated workout routines based on a player’s measurement data, skill level and position. Each workout is monitored individually and collectively, giving insights to player, coach or trainer. The app can also create competitions and challenges.
COO Omer Hovev said the Rehovot-based company plans to expand the mobile app to include other sports beyond soccer.
The Physimax system uses video capture and artificial intelligence to assess athletes’ physical abilities, endurance and risk of injury, helping professionals create personalized exercise and physical therapy programs for clients.
Standing in front of a smartphone or tablet camera connected to Physimax’s software, the user performs actions such as squats and jumps. Artificial intelligence helps pinpoint potential problems with balance, symmetry, range of motion, and areas with the most potential for injury. The system also recommends customized video workouts.
Physimax’s technology is currently used by NBA and NFL teams, the US military and healthcare facilities specializing in orthopedic care. The company was acquired in January 2022 by DarioHealth, another Israeli-founded, global digital therapeutics company.
Lumen invented what it calls “the first device to hack your metabolism.” You breathe into the handheld device and it measures the carbon dioxide in your breath through a sensor and flow meter.
The idea is to use this daily measurement as a guideline to adjust your diet toward improved metabolic flexibility — your body’s ability to shift efficiently between using fats or carbs as a source of energy.
The real-time metabolic insights provided by the connected app are accompanied by personalized diet, exercise and sleep recommendations plus meal plans.
Greater metabolic flexibility, Lumen claims, leads to increased energy, decreased hunger, better weight management and improved overall health.
Playermaker lets young soccer players – and their coaches — track their technical and physical performance in training with a small device worn on their cleats.
Its sensors and software detect every ball touch, every pass, run or interception.
Captured at a rate of 1,000 samples every second, this data is synchronized via Bluetooth with Playermaker’s analysis platform to create a personalized profile of the player. These metrics can be used to monitor progress and stats, and to compare with teammates.
Playermaker is used by pro clubs in Israel, Colombia, Poland and the English Premier League, as well as many US colleges.
RSPCT revolutionizes tracking and analyzing basketball shots, using a plug-and-play installation to digitize every basket and capture every shot at high resolution. RSPCT also turns shooting into a gamified activity.
The system’s AI technology generates real-time pro-level analytics for players, coaches and scouts, tracking exact hit location, origin, arc, and more for every shot taken, and provides unique insights into any player’s actual shooting potential.
Backed by NBA players including JJ Reddick, Chris Paul and Larry Hughes, and endorsed by FIBA, RSPCT is used by basketball academies, federations, excellence facilities and brands worldwide for player development and evaluation, engagement and unique content creation.
With the goal of giving any soccer coach and player access to high-quality player and ball tracking systems and performance analysis, Track160 was founded in 2017 to develop an automated, FIFA-certified data analytics platform using optical tracking and deep learning technologies.
The Coach160 and Player160 products track 3D pose and motion, providing players and coaches with data, video and events. Player160 includes engagement tools for fans and families with personalized videos and statistics.
This year alone, Track160 signed a four-year agreement to provide performance analytics and videos to the Women’s Bundesliga and 3 Liga of the German Football Association and was selected as the official automated analytics provider for the Women’s Premier Soccer League, the largest women’s soccer league in the world.