The EU-Interreg project Nano4Sports started in 2017 with a total budget of 4.6 million euros of which half was financed by the European Union. Partners involved in the project are KU Leuven, Ghent University, IMEC Flanders and the Netherlands, Fontys Sporthogeschool and Eindhoven University of Technology.
Analyze to improve
Wearables measuring fitness and health, VR as a training tool, gaming in rehab, … Sport and digital form the perfect match. Both elite athletes, patients as healthy citizens are waiting for the next user friendly tools to be developed. Strategic and applied research at our university can form the basis for these kind of innovations.
Various research teams join forces within Victoris. At the hardware level, new sensors are developed at the Centre for Microsystems Technology. These technologies are e.g. integrated in insoles and textiles which are then validated in the lab. Another group is working on markerless motion capturing as a tool to be used in the field. These researcher´s expertise is found on the crossroad of image processing and interpretation in sports science. Furthermore, we have expertise on internet based communication technologies in order to connect users and things to the internet (e.g. cyclists), thereby providing network and cloud services with the goal to convert data into useful information and knowledge.
But what to do with all the data gathered? This is where our data scientists come in. Our consortium brings together expertise from various fields, ranging from database management, multimodal data processing and geographic media enrichment to real-time (big data) analysis, data mining, and machine learning (predictive modelling, e.g. on injuries or talent). From linked (open) data and distributed reasoning to deep learning and interactive visualizations. A special research line focuses on the fusion of semantics with artificial intelligence, another hot topic in sports analytics.
Furthermore, an important field of expertise is on spatiotemporal analysis. New technologies such as high resolution video cameras, GPS and indoor location systems are developing fast. These systems make it possible to track and record e.g. ball and players during matches and training sessions. Beyond traditional sports analytics (statistics), current state of the art approaches in data analysis provide great potential for innovation in this rising market.
Many of our researchers working on the above described fields (hardware and software) are also part of imec. Imec has merged with the digital research and incubation center iMinds into one high-tech research and innovation hub for nano-electronics and digital technologies, under the name imec.