Playr coaches footballers to be match fit for every big game

Catapult Sports' new wearable brings sports science insights to the fore
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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.

Read this: How wearables could bring back the good times for US football

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.

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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 £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 . 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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Michael Sawh

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Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011.

Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.


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