Benjamin Hubert of experience design agency Layer has designed Playr, a smart wearable that enables athletes to track performance, enhance their game, and compete against other players.
Designed and developed over a period of 18 months, Playr comprises a smart pod, a high performance vest, and a SmartCoach app. The pod is inserted into the garment, which can be worn over or underneath a football jersey. It sits at the top of the athlete’s back and communicates with GPS networks and the Playr app to track the athlete during game play or training, including distance covered, sprint distance, Pitch heat map, and player load.
Playr has been designed to seamlessly integrate into both training and during matches, to offer statistics to the players and teams in order to boost their performance. When inserted in the pocket, the smart activation in the Playr pod gets activated with magnets located inside the vest. LEDs on the Playr pod display GPS signal strength, battery life, and charging. When illuminated, these LEDs reveal a pattern in the reverse of the top surface of the pod to communicate the technological high performance nature of the system. The Playr pod wirelessly recharges between uses on the induction charging pad.
The softly muscular and hexagonal design of the Playr pod represents strength and performance. It uses an advanced player tracking system to track players’ movements, detecting up to 1,250 movements per second.
The garment part of the Playr is a high performance vest, built using advanced high performance textiles. The integrated pocket for the pod is located at the base of the neck; this area is chosen because it’s the area that is least affected by competitive team sports. To prevent any impact injury, the pocket is adequately padded. The pod is inserted into this pocket from outside the garment for ease of access to the pod.
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 various aspects such as nutrition and 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 Layer.
“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.
The Playr device, the first consumer product launched by Catapult, presently works with more than 1,500 elite teams across the globe, including football clubs Leicester City and Chelsea, and the national cricket team of England.