Remember 2006 and the Rassie Erasmus colour cards and “Disco lights” he used during Cheetahs’ matches? Well the modern day equivalent may well be the gum guard!
“It’s just a quicker way to communicate with players,” said Erasmus about the cards and lights on the eve of the 2006 Currie Cup final, saying they were used in the same way as two-way radios to convey information to players on the field.
“They (the cards) are simply to let the players know, for example, when to kick more or to tell them what should happen next. Previously we had to wait until halftime or for an injury for our technical team to relay messages,” said Erasmus.
Things have obviously evolved since those days, but in essence, coaches still rely on the medical staff to communicate with the players during interruptions to the game.
That is about to change, though …
MindTalk Technology say their technology will redefine the way athletes and coaches communicate on the field. This through integrating their bone conduction technology into a sports gum guard.
The gum guard vibrates the athlete’s jawbone allowing them to hear. All electronics are housed in a pod in the roof of the gum. The device allows for one-way communication with a coach, while also allowing the player to listen to music.
The coach will have a configurable app where they can control who they talk to. So a rugby coach will have multiple configurable buttons that will allow him to talk to all the forwards, only the front row, all the outside backs, or the entire team.
Future product iterations will contain additional sensors to monitor G-forces, internal temperature, hydration levels, and track activities. All data will be viewed real-time on the coach’s app.