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Tech: Everton FC using cranial electrotherapy – and other game changing technologies

A look at the technology and innovation currently making waves across the world of sport

Published in Sports Management 27 Jun 2016 issue 123
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Everton banks on pioneering new injury treatment

English Premier League team Everton Football Club has partnered with Alpha-Stim – a cranial electrotherapy stimulation device – as part of efforts to speed up the recovery time of injured players.

Designed by neuroscientist Dr Daniel Kirsch, the company says the Alpha-Stim works by provoking a reaction in both the electrical and chemical synapses in the body, kick-starting the healing process.

The Alpha-Stim uses a specific wave form and sends a microcurrent through the body, which then – it’s claimed – activates the cell’s receptors – increasing cell energy and sodium/potassium levels.

The currents are also said to enhance the communication between the cells, so that when the body has been traumatised during an injury, more blood and oxygen are sent to the area of trauma.

The process itself is initiated by sending out a variety of electrical frequencies that the body is familiar with, using electrode pads and ear clips – making it a fully portable form of treatment.

Joe Hinnigan, Everton FC’s physiotherapist, said: “We use the Alpha-Stim unit for a range of soft tissue, bone and nerve injuries and it’s proven to be very effective.”

www.alpha-stim.com

The technology uses electrode pads and ear clips to transmit microcurrents
The technology uses electrode pads and ear clips to transmit microcurrents

Golf legend Annika Sörenstam launches activity app

Former golfer Annika Sörenstam has launched an app which recommends nearby events and activities catering for the user’s individual interests.

The 10-time major winner – often described as the best female player in golf history – says she got the idea for the app, called Fundu, during her

18-year career as a professional golfer. The gruelling schedule and constant travel meant that she often found herself alone in a strange place with a few hours to kill – but no knowledge of what activities were available.

“After years of travel and missing out on fun events at home, I wanted to create a virtual ‘fun finder’,” she says.

“I wanted an app which eliminates the time, work and frustration of trying to manually search on the internet.

“Fundu is a one-stop shop ideal for future planning or inspiring last-minute ideas, whether it’s an amusement park visit with family, a nice dinner or hanging with friends at a cool wine bar.”

www.funduapp.com

Sörenstram retired from golf in 2008
Sörenstram retired from golf in 2008

Twins take on virtual reality

US-based Major League Baseball (MLB) team Minnesota Twins is giving away 5,000 disposable virtual reality viewers to fans during the home game against Chicago White Sox on 29 July.

Combining the viewers with the downloadable MLB.com Ballpark mobile app, fans will be able to “check in” to the game and access virtual reality videos with the cardboard viewers. The VR footage will allow fans to experience the players’ perspective throughout the game day – observing the players arriving at the ballpark, greeting teammates, warming up in a batting cage and heading out onto the field.

Twins will utilise Google Cardboard goggles in the campaign, made of inexpensive materials such as cardboard, foam and plastic.

“This is a first-of-its-kind promotion for Major League Baseball,” said Chris Iles, senior director of content at Minnesota Twins. “What makes this unique is the scale of the promotion and how it is intended to be delivered within a game environment via devices.”

The initiative is a strategic partnership between the Twins and MLB, aimed at promoting the MLB.com Ballpark app.

mlb.mlb.com/mobile/ballpark

Minnesota Twins will utilise Google Cardboard in tandem with mobile devices
Minnesota Twins will utilise Google Cardboard in tandem with mobile devices

Sacramento Kings ties up with Bitcoin, chatbot and Über

National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise Sacramento Kings is strengthening its claims of having the most technologically advanced sports arena in the world when it moves to the new Golden 1 Center in October.

While the official opening of the venue is still months away, the Kings have already revealed a number of innovative ways in which it will utilise the latest tech to benefit both players and fans. As well as announcing that it will become the first professional sports team to accept Bitcoin as payment, the club recently struck a partnership deal with on-demand taxi service Über, resulting in the integration of the Über API into the Kings’ own mobile fan app.

Now, the franchise has announced that it will become the first NBA team to communicate with fans using chatbot technology, which uses artificial intelligence to predict and understand fans’ needs and interests.

Initially, the chatbots will be used to provide updates via Facebook Messenger about the building work progress at the Golden 1 Center.

The technology will then be expanded to fan engagement uses once the arena opens in time for the 2016-17 season.

www.nba.com/kings

The Golden 1 Center will open in time for the 2016-17 NBA season
The Golden 1 Center will open in time for the 2016-17 NBA season
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