Sustainable fan engagement made possible by Energy Floors

Energy Floors

As the world looks to find way to be ‘greener’, sport is no exception. With many critics surrounding the carbon footprint of merchandise manufacturing and travel, new technologies could help offset the energy usage of stadiums, by means of fan engagement.

Energy Floors, a technology firm based out of the Netherlands, has tapped into the market of using pedestrian kinetic energy to produce clean power for stadiums and other venues. Kinetic energy is moving energy when humans walk, jump, run. Venues such as clubs, footpaths, and stadium concourses generate a lot of foot traffic, and this kinetic energy is absorbed by the concrete, pavement, or other surface. But what if that absorbed energy could be used to power the sound system, the floodlights, or the food stalls?

The Dutch company has been operating for the last 15 years – allowing clubs, parks, and even cities to develop sustainable, clean energy.

Energy Floors have partnered with the band Coldplay, installing temporary dancefloors at their concerts, allowing patrons to dance on the kinetic tiles below, generating clean energy throughout the show.

Energy Floors make the most out of high-traffic areas. In the case of stadiums, places such as entrances and exits, as that is where everyone must go through, with guaranteed movement. The footwells of seats is the other. When a goal is scored, pandemonium ensues. Jumping around, running down rows to hug the team in the corner, or hugging friends in the stands. It is where the most explosive energy can be produced. Not to mention, those whose legs bob up and down due to the stress of the game will inadvertently add to the kinetic energy released into the tiles.

With the cost of fuel and energy prices exponentially growing, both the public and businesses look to scramble for cheaper alternatives in the long run, with sustainable and renewable energy sources also offering the ability to promote themselves as a green club.

Dutch football giants Feyenoord in the Netherlands were one of the first clubs to introduce this technology into their clubs. The Rotterdam-based club and business joined forces, installing the kinetic energy tiles at areas of high traffic within ‘Rotterdam Stadium De Kuip’. This was a great success to both Feyenoord and Energy Floors, as well as the tens of thousands of visitors to the stadium. The concept of generating electricity just by walking on plates is a revolutionary idea and many are excited by the concept, and its potential applications.

A single adult walking on these kinetic plates creates two watts of energy, and up to 20 watts when jumping. Then considering the nearly 52,000 seats in the Rotterdam De Kuip that has thousands of people walking and jumping around the stadium – the kinetic energy absorbed by these plates is enormous!

The kinetic energy plates can also analyse data and benefit football clubs and other businesses who install these in their venues. The measurement of energy data can showcase to clubs which areas of the venue are the most visited, what parts of the game are the busiest around the stands, or the concourses etc.

Even during goals, it can figure out what certain level of energy is generated from fans. Finding places in the stadium that create more energy during a match can go a long way to determine repair and preventative maintenance for stadium crews. For instance, the ‘ultras’ area of Feyenoord’s fans will undoubtedly use more energy throughout the match, as they jump around and chant throughout the entire 90 minutes. This can lead to a greater focus of ensuring the structural integrity of the stadium is upheld.

Furthermore, it is a new direction in which fans get to be a part of the success of their football club. Supporting their own club in this way is beneficial to the environment, as it reduces costs for their club. The engagement of the fans has found new potential in kinetic.

Orreco.AI: Transforming the way athletes recover and perform

Orreco.AI is a new AI technology tool that aims to help advance athlete training, athlete performance and management of injuries in sport.

This innovation in data collecting technology has one goal – to give athletes the power to control and better their performance using a range of data points never seen before in the industry.

Led by CEO and Sports Scientist Dr Brian Moore, Orreco has had a plan since 2010 to innovate sport by leveraging technology to better athletes’ performance and management.

Since its inception, Orreco has lead research findings and released new, updated technologies to fine tune the accuracy of the data they show to athletes.

They released the app ‘@thlete’, which is a data and content platform for athletes that synthesises a range of data to help athletes better their sleep, wellness, preparation and recovery.

Orreco’s Recovery Lab is the precursor to Orreco.AI, with it being a similar concept that integrates data and metrics to improve wellbeing.

Orreco also released a pioneering free app called FitrWoman which is a leader in supporting women athletes during their menstrual cycle by providing education, training and nutritional support.

Orreco is fast tracking the Orreco.AI technology that is the first of its kind. The technology gives teams player pages with basic statistics such as distance covered, top speed and performance stats but also is providing coaches with an in-depth analysis on their fitness by using blood biomarkers to accurately pick up the data.

Minute-by-minute post-game injury scores and injury signals that give coaches a head start on protecting and managing their players.

Orreco.AI aims to also improve efficiency for athlete performance coaches through voice and text prompt interactions.

Orreco have harnessed three pivotal waves of AI – advancements in computing, cloud storage, and generative AI.

Their objective is to provide differentiated, actionable data that can help athletes transform their game.

Orreco’s AI suite is at the forefront, complete high performance platform converting vast amounts of data into actionable insights. Here’s how:

AI Charting:

AI charting allows direct interaction with your data through intuitive voice commands. For example, you might ask, “Please show me Peter Brand’s inflammation levels as a line graph.” Instantly, crucial insights are displayed, enabling faster, more informed decisions to optimise athlete performance.

AI Action Models:

Our AI Action Models can provide comprehensive overviews of any dataset with simple voice commands. For instance, “Show me athletes of concern and why,”  immediate evidence based answers, securely delivered as your data never leaves the platform. This functionality ensures proactive management of player health and performance.

TRAIN:

The TRAIN module predicts training loads based on historical GPS data, creating sessions tailored to specific criteria — sets, reps, pitch size, and duration. Adjustments can be made in real-time, offering dynamic feedback. This efficiency not only saves time but also enhances training strategies.

AI Injury Risk Modelling:

Motion Signal delivers post-game injury risk scores by identifying deviations from normal movement patterns. This advanced warning system helps prevent injuries such as hamstring strains. As in-game data becomes available, real-time injury risk scoring will further enhance preventive measures.

Orreco’s mission with this particular technology is to empower teams and players to reach its peak performance, maintain health and extend careers.

There has never been a higher demand for athletes than in the current sports landscape. More games being played, more minutes on the pitch, more travel, and an increase in high intensity training has led to the increase of a risk of injury, shortened careers and poorer performances on gameday.

This AI technology innovation highlights a shift in how professional sporting clubs and athletes are viewing the current situation and willing to do what they can to mitigate the potential soft-tissue injuries that arise.

New Zealand Football confirm Sportway as broadcaster for domestic games

New Zealand Football has collaborated with sports video production company Sportway to broadcast an unprecedented amount of domestic football from the National League and cup competitions.

Through this partnership, New Zealand Football will broadcast over 200 games in 2024, providing live and free access to fans on FIFA+.

Sportway are an AI-automated sports video, data production and media rights acquisition company which provides end-to-end, fully automated video production of live sporting events, specializing in lower tier leagues and youth divisions.

With the implementation of a fixed AI-automated filming solution, 4K Sportway cameras have been strategically placed in stadiums across Aotearoa New Zealand, enabling the live broadcasting of National League games, complemented by match commentary from club commentators.

In 2023, New Zealand Football partnered with FIFA+ for their international men’s and women’s teams which includes an archive of former NZ Football’s moments at major tournaments.

New Zealand Football CEO Andrew Pragnell explained how the exciting partnership would further grow football in New Zealand.

“We want to make football as accessible as possible, and our broadcast and content strategy is an important part of that,” Pragnell said in a statement.

“To go from only broadcasting one domestic game per week a few years ago, behind a paywall, to delivering over 200 this year is an impressive change and will transform competitions like the National League which is now much easier for fans to discover and follow.

“Working with AI cameras is a new approach for us but broadcasting domestic games on this scale would not be possible with a traditional model, so we have been keen to adopt this technology and are excited for how it develops as the technology evolves.

“It is also great to provide opportunities for people who want to get involved in broadcasting with the chance for a new generation of commentators to experience working in live sport.”

This is a welcome change that completely changes viewership of the National League that was previously paywalled and extremely hard to access.

After an extremely successful co-hosting of the Women’s World Cup, it is clear to see NZ Football are committing to growing the grassroots game and ensuring that they inspire more people to participate to create a good foundation for the future.

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