Catapult Sports, the company behind the Playertek smart vest (that won our Speciality Sports Wearable of the Year award), is back with another wearable that's built for the beautiful game. This time, though, it hopes its new Playr wearable will put that tracking data to good use to get you in the best shape for game time.
Like the Playertek setup, the Playr is made up of a tracking pod, a vest and a companion phone app. That pod is once again packed with GPS and motion sensors that are able to deliver stats like speed, sprint, distance, and it's promising tracking accuracy to the nearest 100cm. Once again, it's designed for the consumer, not just pro football teams such as Manchester United or Plymouth Argyle.
You still get those heat maps and you'll be able to compare your data and performances to your previous matches, other people in the Playr community and, of course, the professionals to see how you fare against the best in the game.
The big difference here is that, along with that data that can be reviewed on the app (iOS only right now), it will also provides insights on preparation, performance and recovery. This is all based on your data, with the app also giving you advice on aspects like nutrition and sleep - although it doesn't actually have the capacity to track your food or your sleep like a fitness tracker.
The new SmartCoach system has been created in partnership with the help of Premier League performance specialists, with the likes of Tony Strudwick (head of performance for Wales FA and ex-head of performance at Manchester United) and Matt Reeves, who is currently head of fitness and conditioning for Leicester City FC, lending their expertise to make the insights useful for players using the Playr system.
The SmartPod should cover five hours worth of training and game time, while the new-look SmartVest features a smart activation feature that means once the pod is slipped in, it will turn on automatically, making it all that easier to get on with the tracking.
The new Playr setup is available to buy now from the company's website for Â£199. We don't have US prices, but we'll update this story as and when we know. That does, you may notice, make it pricier than a solo Playertek system ($199). And we've got one to test out, so stay tuned to find out if we have as much love for Playr as we do for Playertek, and whether the upgrade is worth the extra cash.
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