This latest piece of technology is set to be a gamechanger in the world of football analysis, and is so revolutionary that one of the finest minds in our game, Arsene Wenger, has invested in it.
“Science can help make players stronger when used with data well – you can measure everything, after that it’s about how you use it. I believe that PlayerMaker is the best available solution to measure performance,” the former Arsenal manager said as he once again attempts to push the boundaries of modern football.
PlayerMaker is at the forefront of live data produced from the feet of footballers, via a strap on the boots, which provides coaching staff with complete visibility on player performance. CEO of PlayerMaker, Guy Aharon told The Sportsman just how important it was to have Arsene Wenger on board.
“Arsene is an educator in the market, someone who brought new approaches and wanted to find a way to improve the game, he saw PlayerMaker as a vehicle to share his knowledge and impact more players around the world. Arsene is not the kind to promote things, so he asked how he can join the company as part of the team and not just for the PR purpose. So he invested in the company and became a share partner and his vision and approach and his spirit embedded within the system.
“His ability to bring some of his knowledge or some of his vision and allow millions of players around the world to have the opportunity to be touched by him,” he continued. “This is the magic of artificial intelligence. We are making huge heroes like Mr Wenger available around the world.”
Several Premier League clubs are already using the software to help their coaches analyse training sessions, meaning the company is at the forefront of this new way of tracking data.
“At least a third of the Premier League is using the system.” Mr Aharon told The Sportsman. “Since we are both technical and tactical the age range is usually from the academy to the first team so we have big names like Crystal Palace, Fulham, Millwall and Norwich.
"Other top table teams that are using it I am restricted to say but in the same city where you have blue and red they are very happy with the outcome.”
He also spoke about the benefits of what his company were doing and went into detail of how it works and how it can improve player performance.
“We are collecting physical, technical and tactical data such as the number of touches, the time between touches, speed, acceleration and deceleration,” he began. “The combination allows us to provide a very accurate and immediate overview for the coach and for the player of the performances the weaknesses and the strengths.
"So the coaches are able to make sure what they wanna bring to the training or to the game is actually happening. So the key here is our abilities to track the foot and understand what the body is doing, what the player is doing on a technical level and on a tactical level.”
You can now see advanced technical, tactical and physical analysis as the hardware strap measure thirty different performance metrics and houses a 6-axis motion sensor. The data collected is instantly sent to the analysis platform on your device using Bluetooth and the hardware works in all weather. The market is changing.
The device has received glowing reviews from players.
“They were tremendously positive," insisted company chief Aharon. "Firstly because we release them from the GPS vests which are very uncomfortable. Secondly, the footwear is an extension of the foot. You already have a boot, you don’t need to put anything extra on your body.
"The attachment is for footwear so it is completely transparent and actually one of the biggest challenges is that players forget to return the sensors to be charged because it is so comfortable for them so they just take off their kit and then the sensors stay there. This is where the convenience for the player, being natural in their game it is a key factor we started with and it took us a long while to find the correct location for it to be so comfortable.”
Although PlayerMaker have been one of the companies pioneering connect footwear, now other major companies are getting in on the act. Adidas, EA Sports and Google have combined to release Adidas GMR, which uses data from a football boot to allow you to increase a virtual character’s rating on FIFA mobile.
This confirms what PlayerMaker have thought for many years - insight based on the foot is paramount.
“For a company that has been focusing on how to connect footwear, having these companies choose football as a way to connect to smart connect footwear it is amazing," he adds.
"We are growing very rapidly in more than 60 countries with a US and Europe as our main market and we are very happy to have those companies joining this connected footwear trend helping us to educate the market or say that the future is in data that you collect from the footwear.”