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Sensor chips to track athletes' every move

Trakus, whose product is being licensed by CBS SportsLine, develops technology to measure athletic performance in real time.

You can't have too many statistics in pro sports, and one start-up plans to put that adage to the test.

CBS SportsLine, a Web site for professional sports information, today signed a licensing deal with Medford, Ma.-based Trakus, which develops technology to measure athletic performance in real time.

With Trakus' technology, SportsLine visitors will be able to access statistics such as the speed and flight of a golf ball or the magnitude of impact from a football tackle. Trakus sets up sensors that record movement from people and objects on a playing field, rink or race track and then delivers the information to TV viewers or Web users.

Trakus also employs sensors attached to athletes. For example, it has designed a 2-ounce transmitter that can be embedded into a football or hockey helmet, according to the company's Web site. The device can send signals to on-field sensors or receive microwave signals to measure impact and field position.

As part of the deal, SportsLine has taken a minority equity stake in Trakus, though a percentage was not disclosed. In addition, SportsLine will spin off the management of certain broadband applications to Trakus, including the ability to stream live auto racing, golf and National Hockey League events.

The technology may be ideal for the audience that SportsLine is targeting, given that sports fans are known to be statistics freaks.

"It's a way for SportsLine to enhance our broadband applications with unique and compelling information that really has never been before seen on the Internet," said Andrew Sturner, SportsLine's president of corporate and business development.

Sturner said he expects SportsLine will begin offering Trakus statistics by the beginning of the next NHL season. The statistics will be shown during live game streams.