High-tech football shirt measures players' work rate in £50m Spurs deal

Football shirts are about to go high-tech, with Tottenham Hotspur planning a kit that contains sensors to monitor how players are performing.

Football shirts are about to go high-tech, with Tottenham Hotspur planning a kit that contains sensors to monitor how players are performing. The North London club has signed a £50m deal with sportswear company Under Armour to wear its space-age E39 shirts.

The E39 features a sensor called a Bug that monitors a player's body. It records heart rate, breathing and skin temperature, storing the data on a 2GB hard drive and beaming the stats to a computer via Bluetooth. Coaches can see a player's performance during training on their iPad or iPhone .

The shirt also boasts an accelerometer, measuring a player's movements and recording how much G-force they face. The data is analysed by software from Zephyr, which provides similar tech to the US military.

We think there's room for even more sensors. The shirts could collect useful data like how close Ledley King's tendons are to snapping, or have the ability to paralyse Peter Crouch in the event of him doing his famously embarrassing robot dance. A special manager's coat might even alert the taxman whenever Harry Redknapp [redacted by CNET UK Legal Department].

The deal with Spurs will last five years and could see the club paid up to £50m by Under Armour. It's the first time Under Armour will be worn in the Barclays Premier League, and marks the Baltimore-based company's biggest European deal.

If the E39 kit is allowed in competitive games, Under Armour plans to offer the biometric data collected from players to broadcasters, so you'll be able to see how tired or stressed players are as you watch the match on telly.

Under Armour also makes the Welsh rugby team's kit, as well as assorted teams around the world and general sportswear. You might recognise the distinctive X-shaped logo from the telly, too: we first noticed the brand when it was sported by half the cops in The Wire.

We'll be sad to see the end of Spurs' current strip, a nifty retro number made by Puma (pictured above), but we can't wait for real-time monitoring of players. The new shirts will take to the pitch in the 2012-13 season.

Is this too much information or a fun extra? Would you wear a shirt that kept tabs on your performance? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

Image credit: TottenhamHotspur.com

About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.


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