Objective performance assessment is critical in sports for strength and conditioning, injury risk screening, and rehabilitation. For example, the countermovement jump (CMJ) is commonly used to measure lower-body explosive power.
Performance assessment usually involves motion capture using wearable sensors, force plates, or expensive motion capture equipment with physical markers. These instruments provide very accurate measurements, but they are not portable and are not easy to operate. They may also provide varying measurements across sessions depending on marker placement.
An Insight team led by Dr Timilehin Aderinola recently published an article in the IEEE Open Journal of Engineering in Medicine and Biology entitled Quantifying Jump Height Using Markerless Motion Capture with a Single Smartphone. The research demonstrates that using a single smartphone, the height of a countermovement jump can be precisely measured without wearables or physical markers. This would provide a cheaper, more portable, and easier-to-use alternative to current approaches.
This paper proved that this approach has considerable promise for objectively assessing sports performance. Future research will look into the possibility of markerless motion capture on a wider range of motor tasks.