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TAYLOR’S TAKE ON THE WEEK IN SPORTS TECH: I don’t start many stories talking about my sore butt, but it seemed appropriate for my review of electronic muscle stimulation (EMS) exercise technology.
I spent several weeks testing EMS, which consists of wearing a wireless vest with 16 nodes that buzz your muscles during a 20-minute full-body workout.
I definitely felt stronger after a few sessions and I liked not having to go lift weights at a gym. The one issue for me is cost, as the Seattle-based studio I visited charges around $65 per session. But for people that want to regain some muscle strength — particularly older folks — it may be worth giving EMS a try. There’s also another stealth Seattle startup developing similar technology, so stay tuned for more on this topic.
Highlights from the week in sports tech
- That World Series was awesome, right? It’s pretty remarkable how the Astros went from being MLB’s laughingstock to winning the title. Sports Illustrated actually predicted this outcome back in 2014 based on a number of reasons, one of which was Houston’s focus on analytics. The Dodgers are also heavy users of sabermetrics.
- SportTechie looks at the top technology storylines from the 2017 MLB season.
- The Seattle Mariners just made a key offseason acquisition: Lorena Martin, the team’s new director of high performance.
- Under Armour disappointed with its quarterly earnings this week as its stock fell 23% — Jim Cramer says the company has “lost its way.”
- Seattle startup Sensoria is expanding its smart apparel business and this week debuted smart shoes that use pressure sensors to show data about your running form.
- Technology is changing sports advertising and sponsorship. Awful Announcing looks at how English soccer teams tweak the way in-stadium ads look on TV.
- Heads up, Blazers fans: NBC is offering a direct-to-consumer streaming package for 15 games this season.
- Intel and HP are investing big in Blizzard’s new esports Overwatch League.
- Bloomberg writes about the “exploding cost of streaming live sports,” and looks at how technology can bring adventure sports to the masses.
- Fast Company reports on how Strava became “an app for cities.”
- Here’s the NFL’s annual Health & Safety Report.
What to watch this weekend:
Lots of good college football games on Saturday — Penn State vs. Michigan State at 9 a.m. on FOX; Oklahoma at Oklahoma State at 1 p.m. on FOX; LSU at Alabama at 5 p.m. on CBS; and Virginia Tech at Miami at 5 p.m. on ABC. … Chiefs vs. Cowboys at 1:25 p.m. Sunday on CBS looks like the best NFL matchup.
Thanks for tuning in, everyone! — Taylor Soper