IMPIRE AG is Germany’s biggest supplier of football statistics and editorial services for the media and clubs. IMPIRE is also the company behind beMeister – a tracking system that captures performance data for soccer players. We had the chance to interview IMPIRE’s executive board member, Christian Holzer:
1. In what wearable projects or activities is your company currently involved?
For several years now we have been involved in a chip in the ball project. We have GPS pods in action for about four years now and, over the last 12 months, we have also a performance pod on the market for tracking the performance of soccer players during training and matches.
2. Where do you think the future potential of Wearable Technologies lies in sports in general and in team sports in particular?
The potential is on-going. This is just the beginning. Up until recently it was not even technologically possible to make sensor technology small and efficient enough to be marketed in a customer friendly manner. As for soccer – the world’s number 1 sport – much of the vast potential has yet to be realised.
3. How does the beMeister system work and what are its advantages compared to similar tracking systems?
Our beMeister performance sensor works with a 3D accelerometer and a perfect arrangement of algorithms which allows the direction of the movement and especially the type of movement to be determined correctly. This enables us to map typical movements in soccer and track the correct data. As the beMeister performance sensor can be incorporated in the insole of the shoe, it can be used in any football boot. The data is accessible in real-time and can be analysed in detail online. The product’s highlight feature is that it uses the same definitions for sprints and speed intervals as those employed in capturing data in the Bundesliga – beMeister users can thus compare themselves with Bundesliga players.
4. How can your company help manufacturers from the field of Wearable Technologies? What kind of cooperation are you looking for?
We are always looking for partners with whom we can work together to integrate our technologies into new products. Consequently, any kind of cooperation where we can incorporate our know-how and technology in sporting goods is of interest to us.
5. What is your favourite Wearable Technologies product?
MP3 functions integrated into clothing.