By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Coaches Editor
Coaches have been forced to prioritize all new tech products during the pandemic, with more attention being paid to sanitation, virtual teaching and contact tracing. Several innovative companies have developed products that address those new priorities.
Disinfectant spray and masks are not the only new products popping up in locker rooms this season. Here are five coaching innovations that have surfaced during the pandemic.
- Virolyze Surface and Air Sanitizer
Brownsville ISD (Texas) Athletic Director Gilberto Leal made the decision to invest in the Virolyze sanitizing solution dispensed as a one-second mist. The tunnel-shaped frame allows athletes and spectators to pass through safely while helping keeps surfaces clean and disinfected..
“We found a company that has a product called Virolyze that has been around for over 20 years, but the focus had never been on using this product for athletics (until now). That company partnered up with some other people to create this solution and help athletic departments out.”
- The Whistle Shield
It is a small piece of plastic, a few inches wide, that attaches to a whistle. Sales of The Whistle Shield started in September with 50 online orders in the first 24 hours, and sales continue to grow at a steady pace. When a regular whistle is blown, particles go straight and upward, possibly toward players. When a whistle with The Whistle Shield is blown, the particles are directed straight down toward the neck and chin area of the official and not into the air.
- Equator Energy Solar-Powered Hand-Washing Machine
The Equator Energy has developed a new solar-powered hand washing machine as part of an effort to fight Covid-19. The automated hand washing machine, named ‘The Agyeman’, comes with a touch-free faucet-operating technology that is solar-powered with an adjustable panel rack and detachable parts for easy conveyance.
- KINEXON SafeTags
In college football, the SEC is providing cutting-edge wearable proximity devices produced by KINEXON to its 14 member institutions to enhance COVID-19 contact tracing efforts during the 2020 football season. KINEXON SafeZone technology, which is currently being used in the NFL, includes lightweight, wearable devices called SafeTags which will be used conference-wide for football student-athletes at team facilities, during practices and games. SafeZone uses ultra-wideband technology to accurately calculate the proximity between individuals by distance and length of time in order to perform quick and accurate contact tracing when someone is symptomatic or tests positive for COVID-19.
- Freeletics Artificial Intelligence Fitness Coaching App
Freeletics recently scored a $25 million deal for an AI fitness coaching app. Freeletics uses AI technology to coach users through digital workouts and meal plans. The Freeletics coaching algorithm gives users customized fitness and nutrition tips based on personal preferences, user feedback and scientific research. Beyond the coaching, Freeletics has a community page where people can connect, share results and motivate each other.