Wearable devices head to Homeless Word Cup
Roy Hotrabhvanon, Mel Young, Hayden Ball and Mariana Mercado
PlayerData, a startup aiming to position itself as a main player in the sports wearable market, will provide its technology to the Homeless World Cup in Mexico.
The Edinburgh University spin-out has partnered with the Homeless World Cup Foundation for 16th tournament in November.
Mexico will welcome more than 500 players from over 40 countries and PlayerData’s latest tracking system will be attached to every player to provide insights to players and coaches.
Co-founded in 2015 by former University computer science graduates Roy Hotrabhvanon (CEO) and Hayden Ball (CTO), PlayerData’s ‘PlayerData EDGE’ product is in final beta testing.
The product – which provides best-of-class data on biometrics, performance and technique for both individuals and teams – is targeting high value sports including football, cycling and golf, in addition to other industry sectors over time including gaming and healthcare. PlayerData’s strategy is to sell into clubs first, then directly to consumers.
Mr Hotrabhvanon is a former international archer who has represented his native Thailand and narrowly missed out on a place at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
He said: “We’ve got big plans to make a real impact in wearable tech, in sports to begin with but we’re already examining other markets. It’s an exciting time for the team and our investors and as we close in on the end of beta testing with paying clients, and it’s an honour and privilege to be partnering with such a well-respected global tournament as the Homeless World Cup.”
Mel Young, co-founder of the Homeless World Cup Foundation said: “We are really excited to be partnering with PlayerData. Their tech will offer our teams and fans an insight into teams’ performances like never before and I believe that this is the first of many exciting collaborations with them. We look forward to seeing the devices in action.”
PlayerData’s investor base includes Mike Welch, who is the company’s chairman, his investment advisory firm Full Circle Partners and Sir Terry Leahy.
Gartner has forecast growth of almost 50 per cent in the global wearable electronic devices market from the beginning of 2015 to the end of 2017 and industry research predicts that the overall smart wearables market will grow in value to over $15 billion by 2021. CSC Insight estimates sales of over 5 million wearable devices in the UK alone by 2016, growing to 14 million units in 2020.
PlayerData received early stage support from the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Innovation and Scottish Enterprise.