A NovaUCD-based tech start-up called Output Sports has created a new wearable fitness sensor that can test and track athletic performance.

With gyms and training grounds remaining closed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, athletes and coaches are increasingly turning to companies such as Output Sports to help them to optimise their remote training programmes.

Output Sport, a UCD sports technology start-up headquartered at NovaUCD, has developed Output // Capture, an end-to-end solution that can test multiple components of athletic performance and track training programmes with a single wearable sensor.

“The beauty of the Output Sports system is that the speed at which you receive the results from the athlete is like no other”

The system which uses advanced signal processing and machine learning techniques, can be used at home by athletes and enables them and their coaches to remotely test multiple components of athletic performance and track training programmes via a system app.

Earlier this year the company closed a €1.3m seed funding round led by the Atlantic Bridge University Fund, with Elkstone Partners, Enterprise Ireland, and angel investors including Leinster Rugby players, Adam Byrne and Dan Leavy. John Hearne, co-founder and former CEO of Curám Software also invested in the company.

“Currently due to the Covid-19 pandemic the athletic community the world over has had to adapt to the requirements of social-distancing, home-workouts and working from home,” explained Dr Martin O’Reilly, CEO, Output Sports.

“We are glad that our Output // Capture technology can help them in this time of unprecedented change.”

Fighting fit

Among those using the system are paralympic swimmer, Nicole Turner, who is using the app to provide testing and tracking data to her strength and conditioning coach Niamh Buffini and rugby players, Adam Byrne and Dave Kearney.

Niamh Buffini, CEO, Buff Performance said: “With the Output Sports system I can now track movement and robustness with a lot more attention to detail because the system allows for the athlete, such as Nicole, to do it themselves.”

She added: “The beauty of the Output Sports system is that the speed at which you receive the results from the athlete is like no other. You can go back and compare the previous test scores on a timeline graph that the system automatically creates for you. Another unique quality is that it allows you to track things such as mobility and power.”

“It has also eliminated the need to formally set big testing events which can be stressful for some athletes and the continuous nature works well for the athletes while they train remotely,” Buffini said

Leinster rugby player, Adam Byrne, who is also an angel investor in Output Sports said: “I am currently sharing a house with Dave Kearney, and using Output // Capture, in conjunction with the plans sent out by Leinster Rugby, means we haven’t deviated too far from our usual daily routine.

“In addition to our standard daily monitoring I’ve also been able to track a few areas specific to me such as my ankle mobility, jump height and measure the range of motion on each rep of my calf raises with Output Sports sensor unit.”

Competitive spirit

With gyms and training facilities closed Output Sports has also launched a competition, #OUTPUTCOMBINE, to enable athletes and coaches from all over the world, and from all sporting disciplines, compete against each other and compare fitness levels on a set of 6 fitness tests. The six tests are; push-ups, 10-5 pogo tests, straight-leg raise, chin-ups, single-leg balance and countermovement jumps.

To enter the competition entrants simply video and record themselves doing the 6 tests with Output // Capture and share the videos and results on Twitter or Instagram, tagging @outputsports and #OUTPUTCOMBINE.

Dr Darragh Whelan, CSO, Output Sports said: “We already have had a fantastic response to our #OUTPUTCOMBINE competition with entrants from Ireland, across Europe and the US and the competition is open until at least the middle of next month. We have 2 full year memberships up for grabs for Output // Capture, with unlimited athlete profiles, for the best all-round athlete and the best video content submitted.”

Adam Byrne added: “#OUTPUTCOMBINE is a great initiative from the Output Sports team as it adds an element of competitiveness to the training athletes are now doing in their home environments. The competition lets us compare ourselves against other athletes in the same or different sports, across six fitness tests relating to strength, power and flexibility and it has been great fun to take part in the competition.”

Output Sports was co-founded in 2018 by Dr Martin O’Reilly, Dr Darragh Whelan, Julian Eberle and Professor Brian Caulfield as a spin-out from the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science and the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics following the completion of Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Funding.

Pictured at top: Dave Kearney trying out the Output Sports wearable sensor.

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 17 April, 2020

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