ISPO 2021 Takeaways – Winter & Outdoor Sporting Goods

This year’s ISPO Sports Fair took place online in the first week of February – and we dove right in. These are our observations:

  1. Big innovations come from small companies and start-ups
  2. Sensors and IoT are taking over the sports sector
  3. Traditional European quality brands need to step up their game

1. Big innovations come from small companies & startups

The most striking innovations this year came from smaller companies and start-ups. Some highly specialized – like the Auftriib “vertical crampon”, a hybrid between snowshoes and crampons for steep, deep-snow ascent. Some quite revolutionary like Moonbikes’ compact, electrical snow scooter: lighter and easier to handle than traditional snowmobiles – and completely silent.

2. Sensors and IoT are taking over the sports sector

We were quite impressed just how far sensors and chips have evolved to offer compelling, real-world applications in the sports sector. The increased presence of digital technology exhibitors at ISPO was notable. Motesque for example enables smart, feedback-controlled fitness equipment. Graspor’s wearable device monitors physiological muscle values in real-time for optimum training results. VerifiR enhances customer experience through product authentication and digital content display, enabled by NFC technology.

3. Traditional European quality brands need to step up their game

A previous observation we have seen reinforced at this year’s ISPO is a widening gap between mainstream consumer trends and the offering of traditional, Central European quality manufacturers of mountaineering, outdoors and winter sports gear. Please stick around for a separate post on this topic, to appear shortly in the Antimatter Lab!

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About the author: Heinrich Lentz is the founder of Antimatter, a physical / digital product design agency in Vienna/Austria, and functions as its design director. Previously he has been working in product and ux/ui design for agencies in Austria and Spain and lecturing at IED Barcelona.

Photo by Alex Lange on Unsplash