Technology has always benefited the sports that it is involved in, and this can easily be seen at major sporting events with large scoreboards or some type of electronic timer. Technology has also been used to create better golf clubs or light weight tennis rackets, but when personal electronic devices started to be produced in mass quantities in the 1990s some sports equipment manufacturers began to worry. They thought that this new technology would keep people indoors and hence would not purchase their sporting products. This fear was largely unfounded and with the cost of most electronic devices falling, it is the perfect time for companies to take advantage of this new technology. The biggest piece of technology that is becoming common in outdoor sports such as running or bicycling is global positioning systems.
GPS is quickly becoming the standard for navigation while bikers, runners or even kayakers are out in wilderness or even in the city. GPS systems can now be linked to Google maps so that a jogger can look at the device on their arm and be told where to turn in order to reach their destination. Previously this technology was generally used in cars but more and more it is becoming more popular for sporting purposes. The overall market for sporting equipment is on the rise and companies that do not take advantage of the new technology will fall behind. Nike has placed an electronic in one of their shoes that records the mileage that the runner has run. Then this mileage is put on a social networking site and users can chat with each other about their runs, how far they have run, where they like to run et cetera. These social networking sites have become very popular in many different areas of sports. Technology has become such a force that the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association is hosting a three-day conference on the subject starting Tuesday. Speakers are to include executives from Google and Nike. It is no surprise sporting has benefited from technology and consumers can assume that technology will continue to be integrated into their sport to make it more enjoyable.