So how are the players taking to the system? Rhys explains: We try to say that this is not a tool to highlight mistakes, but a solution to help make things better.
Ease-of-use matters. Macs and SportsCode are so easy to use, explains Long. We had some new players join us this year. We sat them down for half an hour and they really took to the system; I think maybe ten of our players have now bought themselves Macs. The less computer-literate players really like the ease-of-use and, of course, they all love the internet, so the lack of viruses is another bonus, he adds.
During the game, Wasps video analysts are able to annotate the timeline with data to describe the games events, such as passes, tackles, scrums and point scores.
The teams IT consultant was a surprise switcher. Our IT consultant was working with PCs, but as soon as the MacBook shipped, he bought one. He uses Boot Camp to run Windows on it, Rhys smiles.
The team gets its first-line technical support from London distributor Computer Warehouse. Rhys says: Its great having them for support. They have been excellent, and they are just down the road.
In the four years since it began using Macs and SportsCode, the technology has helped the team succeed. The club has a European Cup, has won the English Championship three times as well as the Anglo-Welsh Powergen Cup.
Rhys sums up what sports technology can do: Were trying to be the best on the field and to give London Wasps a chance to become the best team in England, perhaps Europe.
Other Apple technology use is also in the pipeline. The club plans to give players video iPods so they can carry match videos with them. Wasps also plan a regular video podcast later this year featuring game highlights. And Sportstec will soon release a module to let users stream content from its application. Were hoping to make games available online, says Long.
All this is a far cry from when Sportstecs Australian pioneer Don Prior wanted to improve refereeing back in 1996. According to Jackson, he took an old PowerPC Mac, chopped it in half, put it in a suitcase, and the first sports analysis system was born.
Todays systems are so versatile that the technology could soon be saving lives. We have been working with the UK fire service, analysing situations to try to improve procedures, Jackson says. We have also been very successful teaching deaf interpreters to correctly use sign language.
There are other exciting developments that could enhance sports fans experience of the games they love. We will soon be doing real-time analysis, broadcast to the general public online, he promises.