A dual hardware and software platform, FitStation powered by HP captures 3D images of the foot and measures pressure and dynamic gait. Digital profiles are created and proprietary algorithms assess the data against previously scanned images of Nike, Adidas and Under Armour football cleats. All 32 teams have adopted the FitStation technology, which will be fully operational from the start of next season.
“We are proud to have HP on board as an official sponsor and have the ability for the League and each of its 32 clubs to tap into their innovative 3D scanning technology,” commented Rennie Anderson, Senior Vice President of Sponsorship and Partnership Management for the NFL. “The NFL’s number one priority is continuing to enhance player safety and performance and by utilising HP’s technology to give our players personalised cleat recommendations we’re able to continue that mission.”
NFL’s move to a franchise-wide adoption of the FitStation falls in line with its maintained commitment to enhancing health and safety for the players through its Play Smart, Play Safe campaign. While American Football is one of the more combative contact ball-sports, players are also likely to pick up injuries when sprinting, jumping and leaping. The league’s Musculoskeletal Committee, which analyses injury data and studies injury mechanisms and prevention, selected HP’s FitStation platform for its ability to produce uniquely individualised data to inform shoe selection that best matches anatomy. It is thought this will help to decrease the chance of injuries.
“A shoe is not just about performance, it is an important piece of protective equipment,” said Dr. Richard Kent, a professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Emergency Medicine at the University of Virginia and a member of the NFL Musculoskeletal Committee. “In the NFL, lower limb injuries are responsible for a significant amount of player time lost. A better-designed shoe can be a protective mechanism against injuries such as turf toe, Lisfranc fractures, and high ankle sprains.”
“FitStation is a truly disruptive platform that supports the high safety standards of the NFL and can help personalise players’ cleats,” added Louis Kim, global head of Immersive Computing, Personal Systems, HP Inc. “We see tremendous opportunities for FitStation to help athletes in the NFL and other sports perform at their best. It’s the latest example of how HP technology is fuelling the future of computing.”