Online analysis of athletes’ tactical, technical and physical capability is playing an increasingly important role in modern sport training. The underlying idea – known as the Hawthorne effect – is simple: if you can measure your performance, you can also improve it.
Following this principle, two research assistants from Technische Universität München (Germany) founded the company Kinexon GmbH at the ESA Business Incubation Centre Bavaria and developed a cloud-based solution for analysing and visualising training data on mobile devices.
The solution kits athletes out with a small, portable location sensor and feeds the resulting data into the cloud by means of a stationary base antenna.
This enables users to track and analyse performance parameters and tactical movements down to the centimetre – all in real time. In particular, however, it was the solution’s user-friendliness during training and relatively low cost (compared to the camera-based systems commonly seen today) that won over the international jury of experts in the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC).
So far, the high price of such systems has limited their use to professional sport; Kinexon’s system will now give amateur clubs the chance to benefit from adding online analysis to their training activities, as well.
Along with the sport sector, this flexible satellite-based localisation system also exhibits huge potential in tapping into further markets, including healthcare, logistics, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). “We’re pleased to be supporting Kinexon at ESA BIC Bavaria,” affirms Thorsten Rudolph, CEO of Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen. The Kinexon system, the first version of which is set for market launch in November 2013, managed to edge out more than 400 other ESNC entries from nearly 50 countries.
Dr Gerd Gruppe, Member of the Executive Board, German Aerospace Center (DLR), conferred the EUR 20,000 grand prize on Kinexon GmbH founders Dr Oliver Trinchera and Dr Alexander Hüttenbrink.
“DLR sets great store in technology transfer,” Dr Gruppe states. “After all, innovations form the basis of economic success and hold considerable potential for society. The ESNC has developed into a driving force behind the innovative use of satellite navigation technologies and a starting point for numerous successful start-ups in Germany, Europe, and the rest of the world.”
This year marked the 10th in which the ESNC has recognised the best products, services, and innovations that facilitate the use of satellite navigation in everyday life. At the 2013 awards ceremony, prizes worth a total of about EUR 1 million were presented in 32 categories. Along with the luminaries who attended the roundtable discussion held on the preceding afternoon, the ceremony helped kick off the European Space Solutions conference, which is taking place from November 5-7 at Alte Kongresshalle München.
ESNC 2013 gave participants from all around the world the chance to vie for any one of 25 regional prizes. In addition, topic-specific special prizes were sponsored by the following partners: the European GNSS Agency (GSA), the European Space Agency (ESA), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and – for the first time this year – the European Patent Office (EPO) and Metaio GmbH. Students and research assistants were also encouraged to submit their ideas to the ESNC University Challenge.