Is Google’s Tech Tattoo the future of communication for elite athletes?













Google recently filed for a patent for a throat tattoo, via its subsidiary, Motorola. The patent describes an intelligent tattoo with the technical ability to relay speech and vocal intonation patterns to a smart device. The pioneering tattoo can also detect nervous or confident speech patterns, giving the tattoo the potential to act as a futuristic ‘lie detector’ for intelligence and security operations. Google’s latest endeavour could even replace the most advanced wearable tech on the market, such as heart rate and perspiration monitors used routinely by athletes and sports professionals across the globe.

The patent states that the tattooed microphone could detect and relay clear speech, even in noisy atmospheres such as a filled stadium or arena. Such technology would be invaluable tool for athletes and their coaches. The product could allow for one-way communication between an athlete and coach, without the use of earpieces, headsets or otherwise. This speech to text software, combined with the rapidly evolving pliable screens on a wristband, could pave the future for coaching, by delivering instant instructions to an athlete, player or team.

Providing an unobtrusive method of monitoring an athlete’s heart rate, perspiration, pain signals and fatigue levels could benefit player welfare and performance in a variety of sports, providing fantastic applications to the development of sport science and medicine.

Imagine athletes having the power to communicate in real time with many thousands of fans in a stadium, or at home. Fans could also benefit from a device of this nature, by wearing the tech tattoo to take a call in loud stadiums or busy arenas, without the need to leave the action in search of a quiet spot. Fans could revolutionise how sport is communicated through social media, by using vocal intonations to comment, post and tweet instantly, without the need to look away from the game to type. This would be invaluable for fans eagerly following the game on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, especially during intense game play.

Sport Business, Leadership and Innovation

Loughborough University London is a new campus, built on the home of the iconic 2012 Olympic Games, within London’s new innovation quarter. The campus launches exclusively for postgraduate study in September 2015, and will be offering dynamic masters’ programmes in a range of disciplines, including Sport Business. Institute for Sport Business Director, James Skinner said:

“We are looking for passionate, forward-thinking individuals in search of the right skills and opportunities to become the world’s next generation of sport industry professionals, innovators and leaders”

MSc Sport Business and Innovation

Satisfying consumer, social and environmental expectations in the business of sport requires innovative thinking. Students on this programme develop an understanding of management and marketing principles, and discover the place of entrepreneurship and innovation in the changing global sport business landscape.

MSc Sport Leadership

This programme introduces and synthesises theories, models, styles and philosophies of leadership and their practical applications in the context of sport. Students develop essential leadership knowledge as well as critical psychosocial, socio-cultural, and developmental understandings of sport. 

This article was written by Ben Corbett, Sport Business Innovation Programme Director at Loughborough University, London.  Follow the Loughborough University, London Institute for Sport Business handle on Twitter @LboroSportBiz


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