More than 130 football players have trained under the watchful eye of athletic performance development company EXOS in Arizona, all with hopes of landing a first-round pick in the NFL Draft. Ultimately, however, the eyes they worked with weren’t exclusively human. Intel said today that EXOS ‘last group of NFL hopefuls has been training in front of video cameras which – with the help of the company’s 3D athlete tracking system – should give players and staff a better idea of their “body mechanics or hot spots”.
“3DAT allows athletes to understand precisely what their body is doing when in motion, so they can precisely target adjustments to go faster or better,” said Ashton Eaton, Intel Product Development Engineer and Dual Olympic gold medalist.
The beauty of Intel’s 3DAT system is that athletes don’t need to attach bulky sensors or worry about precarious equipment placement during exercises. Instead, ordinary video footage is routed to servers equipped with Intel Xeon Scalable processors with the company’s “Deep Learning Boost” AI acceleration capabilities. The system then tracks 22 distinct points on an athlete’s body and analyzes their shape for speed, body angles and acceleration points. Finally, these results are fed back to training staff in the form of graphically loaded reports, all designed to help players better understand their running technique and ways to improve it.
“This data allows us to make adjustments in the weight room to help unleash more potential in the field,” said Craig Friedman, senior vice president of the Performance Innovation team at EXOS, in a press release. .
This tie-up to EXOS is perhaps the most notable use of Intel’s athlete tracking technology to date, but it won’t always be so. Viewers around the world needed to get a first-hand preview during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, where he allegedly superimposed algorithmic generation visuals of athlete shapes over reruns of events like the 100-meter dash. The global COVID pandemic ended plans to host the event last year, but such a high-profile tech demo could still be used when the Olympics begin later this year.