Having conquered the fitness tracking game, Fitbit is now looking to make a name for itself in youth sports tracking. He patented a system that could be used to monitor soccer, football, baseball, ice hockey, floor hockey, inline hockey, rugby, lacrosse and more in real time.
This is in accordance with US filing 20220046089 A1. It was submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office on February 10, 2022 (Going through). The patent suggests the system could be used to allow parents to stay up to date with the action from the comfort of their own home.
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The idea here is to create something that would pull data from a network of connected devices. The information would be analyzed and collated by an online portal accessible to a large network of fans via the cloud. Sources of information would include in-game event notes from spectators and coaches (via smartphones, laptops, smartwatches, etc.), as well as more sophisticated means such as cameras built into the glasses intelligent spectators registering the moment a goal has been scored.
The online server would keep an eye on the action. It would gather team and player stats, as well as real-time coverage of every game. For example, for a hockey game, this could include things like face-offs, shots, goals , penalties, change of time, change of period, stoppage of play and much more. This information could also be used to automatically update the scoreboard during the game.
If the portal receives conflicting information from different sources, it can send a request to clarify the discrepancy through an upvote system. The information would be corrected based on the majority response.
Potentially, this could also be used to send videos and photos through the communication system. Considering most youth sports aren’t televised, this would create the next best thing.
The potential revenue stream is great
Youth sports are a big market. This includes everything from organized sports leagues to amateur activities. According to statistics, the youth sports industry in the United States was valued at over $19 billion in 2019. That’s more than the size of the NFL’s $15 billion! According to projections, the value of the American sports market in the United States will exceed $70 billion over the next four years.
All of this means there’s a lot of potential here for a wearable tech company at a time when many brands are looking for alternative revenue streams. Now that it has Google’s backing, Fitbit can aim beyond wearable technology.
It remains to be seen whether the company is simply looking to create a data collection system or plans to supplement it with a network of its own connected devices. Of course, it’s only a patent, so it’s not certain that it will make it into the real world. Many products remain at the patent stage and never see the light of day. Either way, it’s interesting that Fitbit is looking in this direction because it’s quite different from the market it’s been involved in so far.
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