To coincide with the World Cup, Benjamin Hubert of LAYER has designed PLAYR, a smart wearable for elite aspiring football players to track performance, improve their game and compete against other players.
Designed and developed over a period of 18 months, LAYER partnered up with leading sports analytics brand Catapult, the company responsible for the wearable and analytic tech behind the success of some of the world’s most elite sporting teams, including Chelsea FC, Leicester City, the England cricket team, Golden State Warriors and the Scotland rugby team. PLAYR is the first consumer product the company has launched, bringing a traditionally elite-only tracking product to a global audience of amateur football players.
PLAYR comprises a smart pod, a high performance vest, and an app. The pod is inserted into the garment, which is worn underneath or over a football jersey, and sits at the top of the athlete’s back. The pod communicates with GPS networks and the PLAYR app to track the athlete during training or a game, including distance covered, sprint distance, Pitch heat map, and player load.
PLAYR has been designed to seamlessly integrate into both training and match situations, to offer statistics to the players and teams in order to improve their game. The PLAYR pod has smart activation, and activates with magnets located inside the vest when inserted in the pocket. LEDs on the PLAYR pod communicate the GPS signal strength, battery life, and charging. When illuminated, these LEDs reveal a pattern in the reverse of the top surface of the pod to communicate the technological high performance nature of the system. The PLAYR pod is designed to be wirelessly recharged between uses on the induction charging pad.
The design language of the PLAYR pod is softly muscular, and the hexagonal form represents strength and performance.
The PLAYR garment is a high performance vest, created using advanced high performance textiles. The integrated pocket for the pod is located at the base of the neck – a position chosen due to minimum impact in competitive team sports. The pocket is padded to prevent any impact injury, and the pod is inserted into this pocket from outside the garment for ease of access to the pod.
The PLAYR app allows an athlete to track their performance, and offers a smart coach to improve the user’s game. It also allows the user to compete against friends and peers, and benchmark themselves against professional players.
Providing unique performance insight, the SmartCoach system is a world first. PLAYR has handpicked the best professional football coaches and sports scientists to provide individually tailored advice on preparation, performance and recovery; the pillars for success at professional clubs. With SmartCoach insight, consumers for the first time can benchmark their match and training data against the greatest players in the world, as well as their football peers and community.
The app has been designed for ease of use, with simple, intuitive UI. The high contrast design is ideal for use outside where the app will be predominantly used on the sidelines of a pitch.