BYU creates FitBit-like device for figure skaters

Jan 19, 2019, 10:48 AM | Updated: 11:56 am
Jaren Wilkey/BYU...
Jaren Wilkey/BYU

A wearable device can track your steps, calories burned, and changes in your heartbeat. For figure skaters, common tech cannot track the height and rotation of a jump.

BYU researchers, with funding from the U.S. Figure Skating Association, has created a prototype device that can do just that, according to BYU News.

This FitBit-like device is waist-mounted uses an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and a magnometer to track the movements of a figure skater that appear to defy gravity.

Dustin Bruening, assistant professor of exercise science at BYU and lead researcher of the project, explains how this innovation can benefit figure skaters.

“Jumps are the No. 1 thing that skaters and coaches want information about,” Bruening says.

Beyond additional metrics about performance on the ice, this device can also improve the safety of those executing and landing the Lutz, Salchow, or Axel jumps.

“Most overuse injuries are likely related to the landing specifically. We haven’t, in the past, really had a good way of measuring those forces,” Bruening adds.

A recently published paper in the journal of the Public Library of Science details how this wearable jump monitor can accurately track more than 95% of the jumps.

A local figure skater, Sarah Lyle, is one of the athletes testing the device.

“When I can’t land a jump, I keep doing it and doing it and I’ve gotten several injuries from that,” Lyle says. “It’s important to know when I’ve done 100 double axles, and that I should stop for today so I don’t hurt myself.”

The U.S. Figure Skating has a great interest in the project and accordingly was a sponsor of the wearable jump monitor.

A coauthor of the study, Peter Zapalo of the U.S. Figure Skating’s Athlete High Performance Deparment, will be with the athletes at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships this weekend.

The U.S. Figure Skating Championships run from January 18 to the January 27 in Detroit, Michigan.

Today’s Top Stories


Utah Falconz team members cheer in celebration...
Mark Jackson

Women’s football team Utah Falconz heads to national championship

Utah's semi-pro tackle women's football team, the Utah Falconz, will head to Texas on June 26 to face off against the Texas Elite Spartans.
17 days ago
boys soccer Utah injuries...
Becky Bruce

High school boys’ soccer put on probation for the high number of ejections

SALT LAKE CITY — The growing number of ejections in high school boys’ soccer prompted the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) to issue a yellow card, of sorts, for the sport. In soccer, a player or coach is ejected when they receive a red card. In such situations, a substitute for the disqualified player […]
19 days ago
FILE - United States gymnasts from left, Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nich...
ED WHITE Associated Press

Simone Biles, other women seek $1B-plus from FBI over Nassar

The approximately 90 claimants who said they were sexually assaulted include Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney, all Olympic gold medalists.
24 days ago
Figure skate age Olympics...
Associated Press

Figure skating minimum age rises to 17 before 2026 Olympics

The age limit will be phased in with 16-year-olds allowed to compete in the 2023-24 season. It will then rise to 17 for the season before the Olympics.
25 days ago
utah jazz coach...
TIM REYNOLDS AP Basketball Writer

Quin Snyder ends his tenure as Utah Jazz coach after 8 seasons

Snyder released a statement through the team, part of it simply saying "it is time." Snyder went 372-264 with the Jazz.
26 days ago
CORRECTS TO GAME 2 INSTEAD OF GAME 1 - Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole (3) celebrates afte...
TIM REYNOLDS AP Basketball Writer

Warriors answer in Game 2, top Celtics 107-88 to even Finals

Stephen Curry scored 29 points, Jordan Poole connected from just inside of midcourt to cap a huge third-quarter run and the Golden State Warriors evened the NBA Finals at a game apiece by beating the Boston Celtics 107-88 on Sunday night.
26 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
BYU creates FitBit-like device for figure skaters