HomeVideo: Cameras In Players’ Shirts Put You In The Heart Of Sporting Action

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First V1sion is a startup that places you on the field of play by placing cameras and heart-rate monitors in the shirts of top sports players.

We’ve all dreamed of scoring the winning goal, home run or touchdown. The only exercise I get is jumping to conclusions, throwing caution to the wind and running up the tab — so First V1sion is the next best thing, with a wearable camera showing you exactly what it’s like to be on the pitch.

First V1sion is a Spanish startup. Already backed by Spanish phone company Telefónica’s startup launchpad Wayra, First V1sion is opening a new funding round next week. The company puts a tiny, unobtrusive camera in the chest of a sports player’s shirt, the footage beaming out live, real-time video to show you what it’s like in the heart of the action. And speaking of hearts, the special shirt has a heart-rate monitor too, so each video stream also shows how hard the player is working right now.

The low-latency 1080p high-definition footage join the streams from traditionally positioned cameras around the pitch, field or court, giving broadcasters a greater range of shots.

The jerseycam made its debut in a trial involving players from Spanish La Liga soccer team Córdoba CF — the video above — and it’s also been worn by referees and players in the internationally popular Euroleague basketball competition.

Football and basketball are relatively low-contact games, making them suitable for wearable tech. Sports such as rugby and American football might be tougher to integrate high-tech kit into the uniforms because of the constant impacts suffered by players. This year’s Six Nations rugby tournament has seen cameras embedded in referees’ shirts, however, allowing a closer look at the impenetrable goings-on of the scrum.

Sport is an area with huge potential for wearable tech: biometric sensors in a player’s kit could show fans a wealth of fun stats, as well as helping coaches and medical staff monitor the performance and health of a player.

One example of an interesting sport-related wearable is the Reebok CheckLight, an impact sensor that lights up green, amber or red to show whether a player has taken a big hit and may need medical attention. British Lions rugby players have worn Catapult S4 GPS units in their shirts to track their every ruck and maul. And we’ve even seen a camera in the ball itself ahead of last summer’s Brazil World Cup.