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Output Sports

Darragh Whelan, Output Sports

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Output Sports shrink lab-grade athlete performance analytics in to a wearable system so coaches can truly understand athletes and optimize performance.

Output Sports is an end to end system designed to streamline the off-field athlete performance optimisation process. It is capable of testing an athlete’s performance profile (strength, power, balance, speed, mobility etc.) and tracking their exercise programmes rep by rep. This is completed using off the shelf wearable sensors and applying sophisticated signal processing and machine learning applications to the sensor data. This brings unprecedented portability and efficiency to the athlete testing space.

However, Output is much more than a wearable for exercise analysis. The system automatically amalgamates and analyses data to ensure that coaches and medical staff truly understand their athletes. The collection of high-grade performance data over time allows for key insights to be obtained, thereby optimising training interventions. This can improve performance and mitigate injury risk.

The idea was developed from PhD research completed in the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science by Dr. Darragh Whelan, Dr. Martin O’Reilly, Julian Eberle and Prof. Brian Caulfield. This work involved investigating how wearable technology could be used to augment strength training and injury risk assessment. An Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund Programme was commenced in 2018 to to facilitate the growth of the work from award winning research to a commercial offering.

The product has been refined through design processes with end users. These include Strength and Conditioning coaches, Physiotherapists and Sports Scientists. The team have interviewed over 60 of these individuals and developed an understanding of the motivations, work practices and technology experiences impacting them. Our prototypes have been developed using this information to ensure that it solves real world problems.

Our initial target market is the sports player tracking and performance market. This market is growing with a CAGR of over 50% and forecast to reach $15.5Bn by 2023. Initial revenue will be generated via sale/lease of sensor hardware to sports performance coaches. Recurring revenue will be generated through licensing software modules pertaining to the different components of fitness. Output’s long term vision is to bring this level of understanding to the recreational gym user to allow them to understand their strengths and weaknesses in a gym environment.

To date, our prototypes have been used by over 30 professional teams in Ireland, the UK and USA including international football teams, professional rugby organisations and Olympic athletes. Their feedback has informed development of our first product which will be launched in late 2019.

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