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Kinduct, Zebra Technologies Team Up for Football Performance Tool

Sports performance software company Kinduct is offering its solutions with Zebra's ultra-wideband technology to provide football teams with a single source for each player's performance, health and fitness management during the coming season.
By Claire Swedberg
Jun 16, 2017

Sports-performance data-analytics company Kinduct Technologies is using ultra-wideband (UWB) RFID technology from Zebra Technologies as part of its Athlete Management System for the National Football League (NFL) and other sports agencies. Since it began offering its solution with the UWB functionality from Zebra a month ago, about a dozen of its 120 professional trams and associations have been using the technology, while others are currently in conversations with Kinduct to do so, says Travis McDonough, the company's CEO and founder.

Kinduct is an analytics software provider that focuses on human performance, health and wellness solutions. Its offerings are being used to track the condition, fitness and practice results of athletes for four key purposes, he says: helping athletes to improve their performance, mitigate injuries, identify new talent and increase profitability with data. Kinduct can provide and manage a ball player's sleep, nutrition, performance during training and potential for injuries, as well as identify ways in which teams could tailor their training for each player. It uses a wide variety of different sport technologies, McDonough says, including sensors, RFID, GPS and video capture, along with medical records and statistics feeds, to aggregate thousands of different metrics about each athlete. Kinduct provides the software platform, he adds, and customers "choose what data they want to analyze and act upon."

Kinduct's Travis McDonough
In the meantime, sports agencies such as the NFL and NCAA have been using Zebra's UWB RFID tags since 2014, embedded between layers of plastic in the players' shoulder pads (see RFID Drafted to Track NFL Players' Every Move During Games). To date, approximately one-third of the NFL teams are using the technology during practices, according to Jill Stelfox, Zebra's VP and general manager of location solutions

Kinduct says it wanted to offer a solution that could combine the data from Zebra's technology with its own, thereby providing a more holistic system for players and their managers. The resulting system includes the UWB sensors worn by players in the field during training and games, which transmit data to Kinduct's cloud-based software-as-a-service solution. Teams can then access and manage the data via the Kinduct system. Features include everything from high school-level scouting and recruiting to training and professional game performance, with data viewable for fans.

For instance, many NFL football teams are already using Kinduct's technology with smaller, college football programs—in some cases, with Zebra's UWB system. With the use of the UWB technology, Stelfox explains, athletes wear the Zebra sensor while practicing and playing games.

The device pulses a 6.35 to 6.76 GHz signal about 25 times per second, and that tag is then read by a network of UWB receivers at a distance of up to 325 feet. In that way, readers can capture transmissions and identify the athlete's movements, including how fast he moves, turns or decelerates. That data can help team recruiters identify the skills of potential future professional ball players, as well as determine whether they have skills in specific areas of interest that might make them similar to other popular or successful players.

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