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Athletes Reach Peak Performance With Intel’s 3D and AI Tech

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The attention surrounding developments in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies regarding sports is often overlooked, but it has the potential to drastically change an athlete’s experience. 

One such recent development comes from Intel, which is now having its 3D Athlete Tracking (3DAT) technology piloted by EXOS, one of the leaders in advancing human performance. The new technology aims to train aspiring professional athletes to maximize their performance abilities by using AI to gain insight into important factors involving sprinting, such as velocity, acceleration, and biometrics. 

Monica Laudermilk is vice president of research at EXOS. 

“Metrics that were previously unmeasurable by the naked eye are now being revealed with Intel’s 3DAT technology,” Laudermilk said. “We’re able to take that information, synthesize it and turn it into something tangible for our coaches and athletes. It’s a game changer when the tiniest of adjustments can lead to real, impactful results for our athletes.”

New Insights From Previously Inaccessible Data

One of the key aspects of the 3DAT is that it enables coaches and athletes to access previously nonexistent or inaccessible data, which then provides crucial insights into performance. The technology relies on simple video to provide accurate skeletal analysis and performance metrics, enabling deep insight into the body during performance. 

Ashton Eaton is Product Development engineer in Intel’s Olympic Technology Group. He is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon.

“There's a massive gap in the sports and movement field, between what people feel when they move and what they actually know that they're doing,” Eaton said. “When I was running the 100-meter dash, I’d work with my coach to make adjustments to shave off fractions of a second, but it was all by feel. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, because I didn’t fully know what my body was actually doing. But 3DAT allows athletes to understand precisely what their body is doing while in motion, so they can precisely target where to make tweaks to get faster or better.”

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Hands-free Technology

3DAT relies on cameras to film athletes during running drills, meaning it is completely hands-free for the athletes. They do not have to worry about sensors or any other wearable that could alter performance. 

The video data is 60 frames per second, and it is sent to the cloud for analysis on Intel Xeon Scalable processors. The processors also have built in Intel Deep Learning Boost AI acceleration capabilities. 

Following the analysis, coaches receive reports and charts that provide a detailed overview of the performance, which can then be used to adjust accordingly. 

Craig Friedman is senior vice president of EXOS’ Performance Innovation Team. 

“3DAT is giving us information, and insight, not just into the technique of how people are running and how they can improve, but also what might be holding them back. This data enables us to make adjustments in the weight room to help unlock more potential on the field,” said Friedman.

Intel has indicated its aim to continue working with EXOS to provide coaches, athletes, and other performers with valuable insights through the technology. 

 

Alex McFarland is an AI journalist and writer exploring the latest developments in artificial intelligence. He has collaborated with numerous AI startups and publications worldwide.