TechGraphs News Roundup: 7/17/2015

A “day without sports” does not a week without sports-technology news make, so here are the sports-tech stories we found interesting this week.

Scientists in Switzerland announced the inaugural Cybathon, an international competition for bionic athletes. Unlike the Paralympics, the overriding emphasis of Cybathon is less on athletic achievement and more on encouraging the development of new robotic technologies that will aid those with physical limitations in their daily lives. The first Cybathon will take place in Zurich in the fall of 2016.

Audience streams for gaming tournaments have by and large been only in the first-person view. But a new company called Super League Gaming is hoping to bring a bigger, world view to their tournaments. They are partnering with major movie theater chains to display a broader view of the game’s environment on the big screen.

In case you had any doubts about the health of the daily fantasy industry, popular DFS site FanDuel just raised another $275 million, and is now valuated at a cool billion.

NHL 15, while still really fun to play, was a bit of a letdown in many areas. EA is making a push to improve the experience with their next offering, and offered a video showing some of the improvements coming to the game. It’s slated to drop on September 15.

We cover plenty in the way of wearable athletic technology in this space, but when it comes to golf, you probably already have an effective one in your pocket. Well-known golf instructor and former Tiger Woods coach Hank Haney has an active Twitter account, and all you need to do to receive expert analysis of your game is tweet Haney a video of that Tasmanian-Devil mess you call a golf swing and wait for him to respond with some advice, which he dishes out in his spare time.

Football season looms ever closer, and with it the danger of traumatic brain injuries. Doctors at the University of Miami, together with software company Neuro Kinetics and involvement from the U.S. Department of Defense, have developed concussion-detecting goggles, which they are testing on Hurricane athletes this summer. One of the practical advantages of the goggles is that they are portable: the apparatus fits in a backpack, meaning it’s easy to bring them to away games too. The university was one of the winners of the NFL’s second Head Health Challenge, an incentive program to support the development of brain-protection technology, and the $500,000 award has provided the bulk of funding to date for the development of the goggles.

Hawk-Eye for the masses? While nobody’s proposing a populist archery revival (to our knowledge), a French company is developing Mojjo, a camera-based tennis analysis system designed to be used by amateur players. While a relatively inexpensive, single-camera system like Mojjo won’t compete with the most advanced, multi-camera systems the pros use, it still appears capable of providing amateur players with plenty of insightful feedback.

And finally, to put this one on ice, rumor has it that some NHL teams have begun to use the player-tracking system the league debuted at the All-Star Game earlier this year. Unlike the NBA’s SportsVU system, which requires the installation of an array of cameras in each arena, the NHL’s Sportsvision program works by tracking specialized equipment each player wears under his uniform, which also can transmit biometric data like heart rate.

Like your work week, this News Roundup is ending. Have a good weekend, and be excellent to each other.

Alec is a founding contributor at ALDLAND and a writer at Banished to the Pen and TechGraphs. He interfaces with sports twitter @ALDLANDia.

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