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Body sensors

Engineers from Vodafone’s Network Centre of Excellence have been experimenting with how different sensors can interact with smartwatches over a mobile network. Working with the SUB2 project, which aims to help an athlete one day run a marathon in under two hours, we developed a smartwatch app that can be a better pacemaker for elite runners, using GPS location data that is up to 10 times more accurate.

The Vodafone SUB2 app was used by elite athlete Kenenisa Bekele during the Berlin Marathon. The extremely precise real time pace data as well as cumulative distance and finish line prediction was key for his strategy during the race.

We are now testing how to add additional information like core temperature (by connecting to a body sensor pill ingested by the athlete), skin temperature (skin sensor), heart rate (from a pulse measurement) and running economy (based on measuring stride).

The SUB2 project aims to leave a lasting legacy for athletics by showing how technology can help improve performance. This work will also enable Vodafone to better support wearable manufacturers and connected health projects in future.