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Wearable Tech

Wearables meet the Rugby World Cup with these sports outfits of the future

From a GPS-chipped ball to sensor-packed gumshields and shirts, check out these near-future sporting innovations.

Bwin

In rugby you get in trouble for a high tackle, but what about a high-tech tackle? As the Rugby World Cup scrums down in England, imagine the futuristic kit that could take to the pitch in coming years.

Wearable technology is becoming more flexible and more imaginative in its use, and it's already making its way into sports such as American football. Online betting service Bwin has come up with some novel new uses of technology that could make their way into the players' kit bag -- click through the gallery below to check out the potential athletic equipment of the future.

The Rugby World Cup is taking place now in England. We're nearing the end of the group stage, building towards the final on 31 October. The world's top rugby nations will be whittled down until the last team standing is crowned world champions at the legendary Twickenham stadium.

Hosts England have ignominiously crashed out at the group stage, thanks to home defeats at the hands of both Wales and Australia, both set to progress to the quarter-finals. USA haven't won a game yet, losing to Scotland and Samoa, with South Africa and Japan still to come. The Ireland team currently tops its group, tied on points with France. Meanwhile current world champions New Zealand look as formidable as ever.

Maybe England would have done better with some of these smart technologies in their kit. Player cameras in their jerseys and sensors in gumshields could have helped coach Stuart Lancaster get more closely connected to his players. And how could England's players have failed with smart boots, or contact lenses that give them a heads-up display showing the projected trajectory of a pass or kick?

While these more out-there innovations probably won't ever be part of the game, some could improve it. A GPS-chipped rugby ball would end debate over dubious tries or controversial knock-ons. And concussion sensors in helmets or shirts could protect players, a principle that could be applied to many sports.

If that's kicked off your enthusiasm for sporting wearable technology, go into extra time with this gallery of more near-future athletic innovations: