children playing soccer football
Source: Piqsels

Spanish football team to boost play of 18,000 children with smart shin guards

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Spanish football team Osasuna based in Pamplona, Navarre, has announced the signing of an agreement with telecommunications giant Telefónica and the startup HUMANoX to use intelligent shinguards to help improve the performance of more than 18,000 children from its 137 affiliates and clubs.

The new initiative will see the partnership carry out the ‘Cantera Salud’ program over the next four years, helping children to understand more about how they shoot goals.

“Osasuna has one of the best quarries in Spain thanks to its firm commitment to all the clubs whose players aspire to become part of the sports discipline of CA Osasuna one day,” says the official statement published by the club on its website (translated from Spanish).

“Thanks to the signing of this agreement we introduce new technologies applied to football in its massive use, not only to the professional elite, but to all our football through a unique device in the world such as smart shin guards,” says the president of Osasuna, Luis Sabalza (all quotes are translated from Spanish).

The director of new IoT and Big Data businesses at Telefónica Tech, Andrés Escribano, points out that “the incorporation of IoT and Big Data solutions in the shin guards will allow coaches and players to know their sports performance in order to develop better game strategies in field”.

“Through data analytics, information is obtained such as the speed at which they shoot at goal, the way they run or their heart rate in order to improve their way of playing and avoid possible more serious injuries and illnesses.

“This pioneering technological solution opens up a world of possibilities for use not only in soccer but also in other sports. The digitization of society and the opportunities it opens up for us in all areas is one of Telefónica’s strategic commitments, ”said Andrés Escribano in a statement.

smart shin guards
Source: Osusana CA

Using the HX50 smart shin guards, which are made of carbon fiber, a material that makes them light yet resistant, more than 50,000 unique data points per player can be collected in each game.

These are translated into 40 different variables that are monitored on the player’s or the coach’s mobile phone, tablet or computer, including metrics such as heart rate, fatigue, strength of the ball hitting, the force of the hits received, the speed, the calories consumed, or the movements on the pitch represented by a heat map and visualized through Google Earth in the application.

Through these analyzes, information such as the speed at which they shoot at goal, the way they run or their heart rate can be obtained in order to improve the children’s way of playing and also avoid possible injuries to which they are exposed.

The CEO and co-founder of HUMANoX, Rafael Contreras, says that his company is “satisfied and excited to be able to participate in a program with such social sensitivity as the ‘Cantera Salud’ project of Club Atlético Osasuna, which will allow shin guards typical of professional football to be available to grassroots players.”

According to Contreras, the agreement means that HUMANoX Soccer is “the first in the world to convert a passive element such as soccer shin guards, not only a protection with more resistance than steel – being our carbon fiber shin guards – but also an active and connected device that, being integrated into the player’s equipment, can be used.”


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Bridie Schmidt

Bridie Schmidt specialises in writing about new technology and how it can help solve the problems of carbon emissions and climate change. With a degree in Communications from Macquarie University, and 20 years experience in front end web development, she has freelanced as a web and graphic designer since 2001. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. You can email Bridie at [email protected].

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