Virat Kohli, Glen Maxwell, Other Athletes Use This Tech, Now An Indian Startup Is Bringing It To The Grassroots

Over the years, sports have had a lot of help from the evolving technology. Take the ICC Cricket World Cup for example, from hawkeye to Ultraedge, to ultra slow motion, tech has not only brought a lot of accuracy to the gameplay and decision-making but has also enhanced the viewing experience.

But, that’s not all. Tech has been helping players to improve their performance. In the World Cup as well, we saw several cricketers like Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and others using various tech devices to help better track their performances.

But, till now most of these technological leaps have not been able to reach the grassroots level. However, one Indian startup is trying to change that. Footrax Is developing wearable devices And providing innovative technology solutions for aspiring young talents.

We sat down with one of the company’s founders Kushal Rathore to learn more about the work the company is doing.

Footrax – The Company

“We are a sports tech startup based out of Ahmedabad. We track player’s data and we have developed certain algorithms that analyse that data, and provide actionable feedback through which one can improve their game,” this how Rathore describe the company.

Talking about the tech, he explained while this kind of tech has been there, it has mostly been available to elite-level sports athletes. “We are working on democratizing this tech and making it available for the masses, even for the kids of schools and academies and the amateurs who are interested in developing their game tracking their game and improving their skills,” he added.

The Idea

Talking about how the idea of Footrax came to be, Rathore said that they were working with different federations and they came across the problem that several emerging players were facing. The players did not have a proper data-driven feedback system that could provide insight into their game and help them improve.

He added that most players at that stage also do not have access to personalised coaching. Rathore said that the prime reasons for that were accessibility and affordability. “So we worked on these pillars making it available accessible and most importantly affordable for everyone,” he adds.

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How Does It Work?

We then asked Rathore to tell us how the tech worked and how players benefitted from its applications. “So how it originally worked is that you mark the periphery of the field of whichever sport that you are playing with nodes. And that’s complex. So what we did was to try and automate the entire system. So what we did was we integrated Google Maps into the software itself. You just mark the boundary of the ground that you are in, now it tracks your performance, and it tracks whatever you do within that marked ground.

Now you just need to wear the GPS vest and the pod. There’s a QR code on the back of this, you scan it from your profile. It gets linked to your profile. whatever you do on the field, it tracks your performance to the 10th part of the second.

Once you are done with the game, you just press end my game, and the entire data gets pushed to the cloud.”

After one has recorded a good enough sample size of 30-30 days, the app then provides you with analytical insights about your game.

The Affordability

Rathore added that an Elite level team would be using it “for let’s say ₹20 lakh for 16 pods or 15 pods for one year so that comes around ₹1.2 lakh for one pod one year. So that is like ₹10,000 a month for a subscription model. Let’s say even if you want the base model, that would start around $400 or something like that.

And on top of that comes a $100 monthly subscription. What we have done is we have made it super affordable for everyone. So let’s say anyone wants to buy it out outright we can provide it at just ₹10,000 for a lifetime including all the software updates and upgrades and the services out over there for a lifetime. If someone wants to go on an EMI model, that’s just ₹1,000/month for 12 months. That’s it.”

The Road Ahead

Talking about the company’s plans going forward, Rathore said, “Let’s say in the next 12 months we feel we’ll be exploring all the territorial sports which are out over there and create our presence pan India. In the leading 12 months to that, we will be covering the MENA region.

Because we believe the MENA region is getting stronger in terms of Sports, Saudi is getting too strong in football. In the US cricket is in growing and the next T20 World Cup happening in the USA. So we believe will be exploring that part as well. So we are looking for collaborations. We are looking for partnerships out there.

So as of now, 2,500 athletes have used our pods and there have been athletes who repeatedly used it as well. There are kids between the range of who are 10-12 years old they are buying these pods from us and they aspire to become great sportsperson.”

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Posted In: SportsExclusivesInterviewGeneralFootraxKushal Rathore