Most Innovative Sport Technology Products

Melina-DrugaSports are a part of daily life across the globe.  Many of us participate in sports while countless others follow the action on television.  The FIFA Women’s World Cup final in July 2015, for example, broke television ratings in both the United States and Japan.  More than 38 million viewers tuned in to cheer for their favorite team.

The following companies are leading the way with sports technology innovations and products.


number-1Hawk-Eye Innovations

Perfecting video replay technologies.



Known for shoes and clothing, Adidas has invented a smart soccer ball.



The automobile manufacturer has developed a racing wheelchair.


1. Hawk-Eye Innovations


“We don’t believe in accepting the status quo and combine creativity and technology to make sport fairer, safer, smarter and more engaging.” – Hawk-Eye


Founded in 1999, in 2001 the company began using its technology for cricket and tennis, but now its technology is used in 20 sports in 50 countries.  Headquartered in Basingstoke, UK, it has offices in six countries and is a subsidiary of Sony Europe.

Hawk-Eye’s technology allows for instant replay, graphics and vision processing.  It is used for ball tracking, watching goal lines, line calling and point detection.  It also is used for enhancing broadcasts and simulations.

Hawk-Eye has worked with television broadcasters including BBC, ESPN, Sky Sports, NBC and Canal+.  It has partnered with sports organizations including Premiere League, Wimbledon, NHL, International Cricket Council, NASCAR, Major League Baseball and the AFL.

Annually, Hawk-Eye’s technology is seen by millions of sports fans.  NASCAR, for example, is seen by an average of 3.6 million viewers per race, according to Beyond the Flag.

Hawk-Eye’s market may soon grow.  FIFA recently approved instant-replay trials.  If approved, the technology would go into effect during the 2017-18 seasons, according to Duke University.


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2. Adidas


“We are laser-focused on our mission: we strive to be the best sports company in the world, with brands built on a passion for sports and a sporting lifestyle!” – Herbert Hainer, CEO of the Adidas Group


Founded in 1924, the company is headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany.  It is best known for its athletic clothing and shoes.  Its brands include Adidas, Reebok, Taylormade and CCM.

Adidas employs 55,555 workers in 86 nations and considers itself “innovation and design leaders who seek to help athletes of all skill levels achieve peak performance with every product we bring to market.”

Adidas has developed a miCoach Smart Ball.  The soccer ball uses sensors to detect how it is moving, how hard it was struck and direction.  This information is then sent to a smartphone app where it can be used to provide real-time feedback.  It looks and feels like a regulation soccer ball. 

During its 2016 annual general meeting, Adidas said its sales grew 10% in the previous year.  The company’s fastest-growing brand is Adidas, earning the company $15.7 million, followed by Reebok which grew 6%.  Overall, company profit was $813.5 million, a 12% increase over 2014.

According to a report Winning with a Purpose, Adidas “strives to be a global leader in the sporting goods industry with brands built on a passion for sports and a sporting lifestyle.”


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3. BMW


“A more efficient vehicle means a more exhilarated driver. Innovations that combine performance and efficiency are what make every BMW an Ultimate Driving Machine.” – BMW USA


Founded in 1916, BMW is best known for manufacturing luxury vehicles and motorcycles.  Its international headquarters is located in Munich.

BMW, however, does design and manufacture other types of vehicles.  In 2014, it made the bobsleds used the U.S. men’s two-man bobsled teams at the Sochi Olympics.

BMW has again been asked to build a vehicle for the Olympics:  this time racing wheelchairs for the U.S. Paralympic team competing in Rio de Janeiro.  The wheelchairs began being designed at BMW Designworks studio in California in 2014 and are manufactured of carbon fiber.

“The idea is the wheelchair disappears and it is just about the athletes,” Brad Cracchiola, BMW Designworks project leader, told Popular Mechanics. 

Using 3D scans of current, aluminum-based wheelchairs along with the athletes using them, Designworks was able to design a racing chair that improves aerodynamics while stiffening the chassis. 

 A stiffer chassis keeps the wheels aligned. It is more about how you use materials. It is about finding the right balance between weight reduction, aerodynamic opportunity, chassis stiffness and durability. You can buy a carbon fiber bike that is extremely light, but one rock kicks the frame and you’re done,” Cracchiola said.

BMW also designed gloves for the athletes.  The wheelchairs will be finished by the Paralympics in September.

Many other companies manufacture racing chairs, including auto manufacturer Honda, CNN Money reports.  The first chairs were designed in the 1980s.

In BMW’s March 2016 quarterly report, the company earned $2.6 billion in profit.  BMW’s sales grew 6.1%, the company told investors in February.  The majority of the company’s sales come from Europe at 45%, followed by U.S. at 22%, China at 21% and the rest of the world at 13%.

The company said its goal for 2020 is “to improve our existing technologies and invest heavily in new technologies to remain future proof.”


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