Olympians train with ST

Application Examples, Internet of Things, Smart Things Leave a Comment


For this year’s Summer Olympics, some of the athletes may want to thank technology for their chance to capture Olympic gold. And with new technology being integrated into consumer devices just starting to come to market, tomorrow’s champions may be able to learn from new insights and data to achieve peak performance. As a leader in wearable technology, ST is in the unique position to provide a quick summary:

Olympic swimmers hit the pool for hours a day training hard to get the fastest times possible since the difference between gold and bronze can be just a fingertip. However, monitoring progress has always been difficult since any wearable device must be both waterproof and avoid interfering with the swimmers’ efforts or focus. Instabeat meets both needs: it offers swimmers a heads-up display that mounts on goggles to track and store key information — including heart rate, swimming speed, calories, laps, flip turns, and even breathing patterns – while displaying real-time performance on the goggles. Instabeat uses ST technology at the heart of this innovative product: Our 9-axis iNEMO inertial module (LSM9DS0) delivers motion sensing; BlueNRG Bluetooth Low-Energy network processor enables wireless connectivity; power management is effected by an STNS01 Li-Ion Linear Battery Charger and overall system processing is handled by an STM32L1 ultra-low-power 32-bit microcontroller.

Cyclists have been using wearable bike computers for years. And now their bicycles are getting into the act and are getting smarter. For example, Volata Cycles completely integrates an embedded computer and battery in its handlebars and a 10,000mAh dynamo in its front hub, in order to power the computer, which monitors the ride and rider performance metrics, provides a horn and automatic ambient-sensing lights, and motion-detection and an alarm for anti-theft. The bike does all this leveraging an STM32F4, ST’s Low-Energy Bluetooth technology, and an ST Serial EEPROM


Group of marchers during the sporting competition on the street

More than simply knowing how far and how fast they’ve traveled, runners and other athletes need to understand how their equipment—their bodies, in particular—is operating. Garmin Forerunner watches rely on a broad range of ST motion sensors to help runners optimize their performance, with features that can monitor heart-rate, V02-max, and even lactate thresholds.


They may not instantly turn on-the-rise athletes into the next Messi, Pogba, or Ronaldo, but the training ball can give players real-time feedback on the strike point, spin, speed, and flight path for their practice kicks. That data can help players perfect long passes, increase shot power and even add more bend to free kicks. The sensor that collects all the kick data is a multi-axis MEMS eCompass module (3D accelerometer and 3D magnetometer) from STMicroelectronics.


Olympians training for golf and tennis events might be wearing any of several sports wearable devices. One, the PIQ sports wearable device, tracks hand and wrist movement in multiple axes for accurate 3D analysis to improve performance and technique. Golfers can pair PIQ with products like the Mobitee – small NFC tags attached to each club – to know distance to the green and get swing analysis and live shot tracking. Tennis players can link PIQ to Babolat, an on-wrist display that shows statistics such as speed and lift, while sharing data from each shot with a mobile application for detailed analysis. ST has contributed several key components to PIQ: an STM32F4 microcontroller for the multi-sport sensor’s main controller to achieve the peak performance needed for complex processing of sensor data while ST’s BlueNRG™ Bluetooth Smart wireless controller connects PIQ’s Bluetooth® wireless subsystem to the user’s smartphone. ST also contributed a LPS25HB barometric pressure sensor and the major components of the PIQ sensor’s battery charger.

The plethora of wearable devices on the market from a broad range of suppliers offer new ways to track data that can help athletes achieve their best performances. Devices today can monitor heart rate, accurately track calorie burn, maintain workout intensity, maximize training and optimize health.

So whether you are training for the Olympics, a marathon, 100 meter dash, triple jump or just trying to stay in shape, there is a product for you – and there is a good chance ST is there (inside) to help you perform your best.