Validating wearables in basketball

At a glance

Optimum monitoring of sports training and game performance can only be achieved with the help of wearables that do their job perfectly. These devices are worn on the body in order to collect biometric data, such as the wearer’s pulse. Fraunhofer IIS is responsible for the validation of physiological signs, such as heart rate measurements or electromyography, and indications of movement, such as measurements of speed, distance, or jump height. The different technologies are validated during professionally planned test days involving athletes, highly automated technical test and evaluation procedures, and careful scientific evaluation of the results. In addition, the safety of the systems and their components is then tested by the project partner, the University of Michigan.


The validation of commercial systems for sports presents several challenges that can be overcome thanks to the necessary expertise and the local facilities vailable to Fraunhofer IIS:

  • When recording athletes’ data, it is essential to consider not only the human component during testing but also ethical regulations. This challenge is easily overcome thanks to the Fraunhofer team’s many years of experience and their constructive approach to collaboration.
  • Through their professional and meticulous work at every stage of the test procedure, from planning to execution, the Fraunhofer team are able to ensure that the methods of measuring deliver a completely fair and consistent evaluation of different system providers. This also calls for the application of a double verification principle during the analysis of measurement data.
  • A smooth process also requires a test environment that is suitable for sports applications, with appropriate integrated measurement and testing systems. The Test and Application Center L.I.N.K. at Fraunhofer IIS is ideally suited to this purpose.

Measuring and testing systems in operation

A range of measurement and testing systems are used for the validation, some of which are already available at Fraunhofer IIS:

  • Qualisys motion capture system in one of the largest tracking areas in Europe (approx. 20 x 30 meters)
  • Nikon iGPS laser tracking for technical tests
  • Vibration table for testing IMU-based “wearables”
  • 3D positioning system for repeatable tests throughout the tracking volume
  • Autonomous Segway platform for recording numerous repetitions of sport-like movements

What we offer

Fraunhofer IIS has built up many years of expertise in the field of tracking systems, as well as in the development of wearables and the analysis of (sports) data, and can therefore offer a wide range of services for a variety of sports. You can find examples of previous projects here.