Soon the coach can be replaced by the mobile telephone

Published May 05, 2011

Kayak and canoe paddlers will now be able to do even better - with the help of ordinary mobile telephones. Dennis Sturm, Ph.D student at KTH, has together with a research colleague developed a technique that allows athletes to easily measure their performance with a mobile telephone and with this information improve their performances.

“A human trainer is always subjective in some respects while measurement values are always 100 per cent objective,” says Dennis Sturm, researcher at the School of Technology and Health at KTH.

The technology which he and his colleague Khurram Yousaf have developed is a number of sensors that are mounted on the paddles and on the kayak, these sensors communicate via Bluetooth with a program developed in Java ME. This program is then run on a mobile telephone. Dennis Sturm has also been helped by the Swedish professional paddler Björn Granstedt, who has tested the technology.

“The sensors, among other things, measure force and motion, for example paddle and footrest power as well as forward motion. The information obtained is very useful to obtain better training results, and it is also very useful with rehabilitation,” says Dennis Sturm.

He adds that he has focused on making the technology as simple as possible to use. The software is developed in Java ME to ensure that it will function with as many mobile telephones as possible.

The technology also has a great potential within other sports not just rowing.
“We have been thinking of applying the technology to cycling, running, cross country skiing and biathlon. But time is always a scarce commodity,” says Dennis Sturm.

Simulations have already been carried out with excellent results, and proper tests in water will be carried out in May. The technology will then seriously show its worth.

The research has been funded by the Olympic Performance Centre, founded by the KTH, the Sports Academy (Idrottshögskolan) in Stockholm and the Swedish Olympic Committee.

For more information, contact Dennis Sturm on 08-790 48 74 or dennis.sturm@sth.kth.se.

Peter Larsson