The creators of the winning idea got inspired by the recent popularity of wearable health monitoring devices

Wearable motion sensor wins European sat-nav competition

A wearable motion sensor monitoring athletes in real-time has won this year’s European Satellite Navigation Competition.

The idea proposed by a German start-up Kinexon provides precise localisation and tracking data in combination with information about the athlete’s performance, health and fitness levels, such as energy consumption, training load and activity.

Developed by Dr Oliver Trinchera and Dr Alexander Hüttenbrink, the device has been selected the best idea using satellite navigation data from a pool of more than 400 submissions from 50 countries in this year’s competition run by the European Space Agency (ESA). The jury named the device’s user-friendliness and relatively low cost as one of its main strengths.

The cell, providing round-the-clock monitoring, could help prevent injuries through over-training but could also be used for the monitoring of elderly people or children.

The wearable Kinexon One device gathers the information and relays it to a basestation, where the data is processed and transferred to the cloud where it can be accesses by authorised personnel, such as coaches or medical staff.

Using a combination of data provided by navigation constellations GPS, Glonass and Galielo, the team has managed to maximise the precision of available positioning data. Instead of using the satnav signal information content itself, the German engineers have taken advantage of the ‘phase’ of the signal’s carrier wave.

“We found their idea so interesting that we decided to support the development at our business incubation centre,” said Thorsten Rudolph, managing director of Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen, the company contracted by the European Space Agency to run the Business Incubation Centre in Bavaria.

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