Benjamin Hubert’s design studio Layer has created a wearable device that lets aspiring football players and athletes track and improve their performance. The smart device, called Playr, was designed in collaboration with leading sports analytics and tech company Catapult. Made up of a Smartpod, a high performance Smartvest and a SmartCoach app, Playr combines advanced GPS player tracking – once only available to elite athletes – with personalised sports science to help users enhance their performance.
It is designed to be used in both training and match situations to give individual players, as well as whole teams, access to the statistics needed to improve their game. With a “softly muscular” design to represent “strength and performance,” the pod uses an advanced player tracking system to track its user’s movements, detecting up to 1,250 movements per second. This includes tracking the distance covered, the athlete’s sprint distance, a pitch heat map and player load.
LEDs embedded into the pod inform users of the GPS signal strength and the battery life, as well as allowing them to tell when its charging. The pod can be wirelessly recharged between uses on an induction charging pad. The pod is inserted into an integrated pocket in the high performance Playr vest, which is worn underneath or over a football jersey, and is positioned at the base of the neck for minimum impact in games. With smart activation, it starts working once it is inserted into the pocket and attaches to the magnets located inside the vest. The pocket is also padded to prevent any injuries from impact.
The Playr app enables users to track their performance, and offers a smart coach to improve the athlete’s game. It also lets them compete against friends, and compare themselves against professional players. According to Layer, this SmartCoach system is a “world’s first,” providing a detailed insight into the user’s personal performance, and advising them on a range of aspects from nutrition to sleep. “Playr has handpicked the best professional football coaches and sports scientists to provide individually tailored advice on preparation, performance and recovery; the pillars for success at professional clubs,” explained the studio.
“With SmartCoach insight, consumers for the first time can benchmark their match and training data against the greatest players in the world, as well as their football peers and community,” it added. Layer designed the app to be easy to use, with a simple and intuitive user interface. “The high contrast design is ideal for use outside where the app will be predominantly used on the sidelines of a pitch,” the studio explained.
The Playr device is the first consumer product launched by Catapult, which currently works with over 1,500 elite teams around the world, including football clubs Chelsea and Leicester City, and the England national cricket team. Hubert’s design studio recently launched Trove, a digital wallet and app system that allow you to store your cryptocurrency without fear of loss or theft.