You?ve heard it over and over again: speed kills. The age-old saying is at an all-time importance with athletes in all sports seeking every edge to push performance. Enter the adidas miCoach SPEED_CELL. Brought to our attention in October, the performance-tracking device is finally on shelves, ready to revolutionize the way athletes improve in game and in practice by offering meaningful data and breaking all barriers of entry. We caught up with adidas Senior Innovation Director Christian DiBenedetto to find out everything you need to know about the latest and greatest from the Three Stripes.
What is the miCoach SPEED_CELL?
The miCoach SPEED_CELL is a device that goes in your footwear. Traditionally, devices only capture your running speed in one direction. SPEED_CELL captures your movement in every direction. When you play a field sport like soccer you?re running forward, you’re running backward, you’re side stepping. This captures your movement in every direction. It captures total distance and speed every second while you?re running (along with) your cadence.
How does it work?
The way that miCoach SPEED_CELL works is that you put it in your shoe and then you forget about it. You never need to take it out again. It goes inside the shoe, you go to practice, you put your shoes on, it senses that you?re moving, and it starts to collect the data. It stores all the data on the SPEED_CELL so you don?t need a watch, you don?t need any other device. Once you’re done playing just log into miCoach.com and all the data will already be there.
How will it make athletes better?
We?ve worked with professional trainers to understand the data that we collect and break it down in terms that are meaningful to the athlete so they can understand “am I getting better?” We capture things like total distance in a game. When you start to look at the pros and you realize they?re running six miles in a soccer game and you?re playing high school and you?re doing three (miles), maybe you?re not running as much as you should be. We capture max speed as well, and another variable that?s really interesting to the trainer is high intensity distance. This is the amount of distance that you cover at your faster speeds. When you can understand that and you understand how that profile looks over a game, you can start to see what kind of player you are. Are you the player that goes all out in the first and you don?t have anything left at the end? Are you the player that levels it out? Or do you go out too easy in the beginning?
Who is it built for?
Our target audience is that amateur athlete, that high school athlete that wants to get better and is looking for that college scholarship. Maybe it?s their senior year and they want to understand their game, but they really don?t have the tools to do it. They really don?t know how their practices are going and what they need to improve.
Can athletes wear it sport-to-sport?
We specifically built it so that it would be valuable across sports. If you?re the kid that?s playing football, basketball, and soccer, it absolutely will relate to each one of those sports. We?ll break down that data knowing that it was a basketball game differently than if it was a soccer game or football. But it?s the same SPEED_CELL that behaves in the same way whether you?re in game or in practice.
What makes it different from the competition?
miCoach SPEED_CELL is the first system to capture movement in 360 degrees; no other system does that. It also stores all of its information on board on a memory chip so it doesn?t have to transmit that data to another device to save it. We?ve eliminated all the hurdles of entry by placing it in a cavity that?s built into your footwear. Any interaction that would get in the way of playing the sport has been removed. All the systems that exist today need a watch or some device to monitor that data. This is the only stand alone technology that can be taken into a professional game without breaking any violations.
Explain the mobile user experience.
The miCoach connect for iPhone and iPod will launch the data right into our sports apps. It has data visualization so you can see your performance right there. If it?s halftime you can upload that data, see how you?re doing, and compare with your teammates. Your actual performance parameters influence an avatar in a game with a character that directly reflects your performance capability. Any data that goes to miCoach can be shared on Facebook or Twitter as you choose.
Will adidas athletes be involved?
We?re working with our athletes to get that relationship set up. It?s exciting for an amateur athlete to see, “what does it take to be a Derrick Rose? How much faster is he than I? Does he have a burst speed that?s faster than my burst speed?” As you can imagine our relationship with each athlete differs as to whether or not they want to share that data. Once a few people start to share it more will feel the pressure to. It?s an interesting time with the data coming out.
What?s next from adidas?
Really helping athletes get better by understanding their performance and providing real time coaching is absolutely where we?re headed.
Purchase the adidas miCoach SPEED_CELL at Shop adidas.