With the popularity of Internet of Things (IoT) across the globe, local mobile telecoms provider Safaricom has been involved in activities that develop and take advantage of the technology.
Together with Vodafone Group, the telco has revealed that it is working with local athletes to break the two-hour marathon mark using IoT tools. This development involves a collaboration between the two corporations and a team of specialist scientists, top marathon participants across the globe and other industry stakeholders in a project called SUB2.
The best record that is yet to be surpassed clocks in a 2:02:57. It was set by Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto back in September 2014 during the Berlin Marathon.
The SUB2 project is demonstrably showcasing the gains bringing internet-connected network intelligence to a variety of gadgets at work, home and on the move, which in this case are sport-oriented activities.
“At Safaricom, we continue to seek and explore new innovations around the latest technologies, with the goal of creating new opportunities for Kenyans. This application of IoT in athlete training in Iten and Eldoret will not only help Kenyan athletes improve their performance, it will also further refine and fine tune our IoT solution in readiness for nationwide deployment,” said Thibaud Rerolle, Director – Technology, Safaricom.
It should be noted that the project has an accompanying smartwatch app to give telemetry with better location tracking using mobile networks. The app, which has been built by Vodafone, was first used during the Berlin Marathon in 2017.
Functionally, the app receives data from a couple of body sensor over mobile networks. They include motion trackers, 3D visualizations, as well as skin and land surface temperature sensors that gauge several variables and parameters in an athlete’s body and the surroundings.
The technology was publicly demoed during MWC 2018 in Barcelona, Spain.
This marks one of the key goals of Safaricom’s KES 200 million investment in the Technology Lab where emerging products are tested before deployment. The telco mentions more IoT-based products will be released in the coming days.