November 2, 2017: Crew members from team AkzoNobel have been equipped with biometric sensors to be worn during the Volvo Ocean Race as part of an innovation project with SAP aimed at helping the sailors to optimize their performance.
Fully approved by the race organizers and available to all competing teams, the innovative system – being used for the first time in professional sailing – is designed to track fitness and recovery levels and analyze whether the sailors are performing at their best.
Five sailors will be equipped with a wrist-based wearable (worn 24 hours a day) which is expected to provide valuable insights into physical conditioning such as fatigue, exhaustion, reaction to weather conditions and stress levels. The data collected could enable the team to make more balanced and informed decisions, based on each sailor’s physical and mental state.
“Having SAP’s new technology available will help us better understand how the sailors are standing up to the rigors of the race,” said team AkzoNobel skipper Simeon Tienpont. “Innovations like this help to push the boundaries of our sport and in the future could help skippers to make better informed decisions about the physical and mental performance of their sailors.”
Part of the SAP Leonardo digital innovation system, SAP Leonardo IoT Edge is being used to capture the biometric data of the crew at sea. Once teams arrive at a stopover, the data collected can be run through predictive analytics to help prepare for the next leg of the race.
As well as bringing a new level of innovation to the world’s toughest offshore sailing event, it’s also an ideal opportunity to test the value of the technology in practice.
“This is an excellent example of how connecting people, processes and things with leading-edge digital technology can improve performance,” said Dr. Tanja Rueckert, President of IoT & Digital Supply Chain at SAP.
Although its use is optional, if teams do decide to use SAP’s sensor technology, the on board systems will be identical. It will be up to each individual team how they decide to analyze and interpret the data once it arrives ashore.