Improved positioning for football analytics

Noccela positioning capabilities were developed to track player performance in sports such as soccer, with the partner of the football application: Spåt positioning. The core business of TKOMV Turku Oy is to host football services including training, and tournaments on the premises. According to their strategy, the company strives for excellence in all its services for example, by adding value with technological edge. When there was no technology suitable to track sports performance in their market, Noccela was happy to develop its positioning technology for sports analytics, and a football analytics application.

CUSTOMER CHALLENGE: No suitable tracking technology for their sports market

TKOMV Turku Oy was seeking for competitive advantage in the football training and live entertainment market. In order to serve their strategic purpose better, a performance analytics tool with a cost-efficient player-tracking technology was needed.

Fact-based performance measurement of the players proved to be challenging as the existing solutions based on GPS were perceived as too expensive for the junior player market segment. Adapting to other local radio technologies also caused challenges and compromises between the cost, performance, and infrastructural flexibility and scalability as they were developed for other uses. One of the biggest challenges was that the typical overhead beacon setup was not acceptable for sports, due to football fields rarely having a ceiling and the high risk of collision causing damage to the devices.

SOLUTION: Developing Noccela positioning algorithms for sports analytics and environment

Noccela Location aware-IoT technology comprises a cloud-supported engine, where the tracking devices are sending the positioning information via the beacons. The positioning engine runs the positioning algorithm and bears all the responsibility of a complete software service. The integration to the cloud solution is possible with third-party API and supports both real-time and historical data transfer.

Noccela’s positioning algorithm; High Performance Ranging (HPR) is a unique UWB radio technology that adapts the best performance features from the existing algorithms in the market: Time Difference of Arrival (TDoA) and Two Way Ranging (TWR). HPR is Noccela’s proprietary technology to provide compatibility with any local positioning requirements, including player/athlete tracking. That is, the Noccela positioning engine’s performance compatibility was moved from retail applications to multiple, including high accuracy and rapid positioning in sports. The positioning engine can deliver the expected positioning accuracy and speed without any infrastructural difference; whether it is tracking workers, assets, materials and products in manufacturing, merchandise in retail, football players, or thoroughbred races. The football analytics application was developed to monitor the real-time positions and speeds of football players of multiple teams. The application is based on various types of monitoring and analysis features such as maps and graphs.

BENEFITS: Scalable and cost-efficient solution without a compromise in performance excellence

Noccela UWB RTLS was upgraded in performance to track players of any sport. The development drastically reduced the required hardware to install, simplified the hardware setup, and enhanced the positioning performance to an exceptional level in terms of speed and accuracy. Noccela offers a complete high-performance SaaS (Software as a Service) with the smallest possible hardware requirement in the market.

  • The development focus is on the Noccela core technology (positioning engine and radio communication) which made the solution affordable, easily scalable, and integrable for the customer.
  • The solution did not require development on top of an existing solution, which offered the customer immense flexibility in the cooperation.
  • Noccela’s solution development mindset that intends to continuously reduce hardware cost and increase installation convenience resonates with the customer value throughout all the local positioning verticals including sports. The independency of the technology gives Noccela limitless capabilities to satisfy any customer requirement.

The positioning engine was improved in performance by developing a unique positioning algorithm HPR. In the beginning, a football field had to be covered with 36 Noccela UWB beacons. The algorithm was further developed to omit overhead beacons, promoting linear beacon arrangement around the football field. Further, the number of beacons around the field was reduced to 16 without a compromise on performance.

The next step of development is to enable mobility in the beacon set-up, to be suitable for tournaments in multiple locations. The setup will not require to be fixed in the stadium location nor demand exact beacon positions around the field due to the easy auto-calibration function.

Working with Noccela to develop a competitive sports analytics solution has been easy, comfortable and quite cost-effective. We started with exploring their technology and ended up with further developing it together to achieve our requirements. Now we are a confident analytics platform business ourselves with the world’s best player tracking technology as the foundation.

Harri Karvinen, CEO, SPÅT


TKOMV Turku Oy

TKOMV Turku Oy was founded in 2019. The organization hosts football services including training, tournaments and the premises. TKOMV operates in the Lähitapiola Areena football field in Impivaara, Turku.

SPÅT Sports Positioning is a business unit of TKOMV Turku Oy that offers a sports analytics solution to the player tracking market. That is School and junior programs, Elite club programs, college programs as well as world-class events.

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