Today, Huami announced it is teaming up with McLaren Applied Technologies (a division of McLaren, the auto company) to develop smart wearables for e-sports.
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The collaboration will explore how body sensors and AI technology can be used to optimize performance in virtual auto racing. The co-branded products will work with mobile applications to provide users with a comprehensive view of their biometric and activity data during competitive e-sports.
“We are excited to be working with world-leading performance design and technology solutions provider McLaren Applied Technologies and official partner to McLaren Shadow Project,” said Tommy Tang, Vice President of Huami.
“We believe that this strategic partnership validates the growth potential of our high-quality wearable technology products and will help broaden our global reach.”
For those not in the know, e-sports is a form of competition using video games. It increased in popularity in the 2000s, seeing participation by professional gamers and spectatorship grow rapidly. Some players even go on to become professional athletes.
The global market for e-sports is expected to see a serious growth spurt in the coming years. 2018 revenues hit an estimated $905 million, and this is expected to increase to $1.1 billion this year and $1.5 billion in 2020. E-sports even are being considered for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
In auto racing in particular, there is much similarity between virtual and real motorsport. The similarities include the way the balance of the car is controlled, braking, throttle, and steering input, and the way the car accelerates and hugs corners. Racing simulators demand physical and mental endurance as well as gaming skill.
The first stage of the collaboration will see Huami’s tech used to help select the winner of the McLaren Shadow Project e-sports event in Woking, England. The competition, which launched last July, saw over 500,000 people apply to join in. Those interested can watch a live stream of the finals on the McLaren YouTube channel on January 16th and 17th.
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