Wearable tech helped Germany win the 2014 World Cup, and could help you

A record 26.5 million people in the U.S. watched Germany's extra-time win against Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final. But they probably didn’t know Germany’s secret weapon in the dramatic victory was Adidas.

Darcy Norman is a performance data analyst with the German national team. He spoke at CES 2015 about how the German national team used Adidas’ miCoach wearable technology and software to make decisions about what players to put in the game.

These small devices can monitor distance, speed, and heart rate of those who wear it. The German team wore them leading up to the tournament, while coaches analyzed the data. Norman said coaches would look over the data to determine where players needed to improve and where they thrived.

The data gathered from the miCoach helped head coach Joachim Löw decide to sub in Mario Götze in the 88th minute of the final game. In the 113th minute, Low’s decision proved to be the right one as super sub Götze scored the game-winning goal.

Of course, several other factors went into the goal that secured Germany’s fourth World Cup victory. But technology had a definite impact.

“There’s obviously hard work, passion, tears, sweat, and a few choice words between each game — it’s not all about technology,” said Adidas director of product creation Simon Drabble at CES 2015. “But there’s no denying the fact that we have a great example of how technology helped train the best of the best to be number one in the world.”

You don’t have to be a professional soccer player to take advantage of connected health devices like miCoach technology. Here are some gadgets that will help you achieve that ‘get fit’ New Year’s resolution:

1. Adidas' miCoach Smart Ball

The Adidas miCoach Smart Ball’s Bluetooth and an app to sync up your performance on the field to a smart phone or tablet. The ball’s sensors keep track of your kick’s speed, spin and flight path. Then it sends that info to your device so you can track your progress and see where you need to improve. Its lithium ion polymer rechargeable battery can stand about 2000 kicks. You can get it for $200 on adidas.com.

2. Lenovo’s Vibe Band VB10

Lenovo’s fitness band is an affordable way to continuously monitor your health and fitness progress. The curved E ink screen displays your daily steps, travel distance, calories, and even the quality of your sleep when it’s time to call it a day. One charge will get you seven days of tracking. The $89 gadget will be available for sale in April — but sadly not in the US.

3. Withings' Activité Pop

Like Lenovo’s VB10, the Pop can track steps and sleep quality. This one also comes in a variety of fun colors, can pair up with a chest strap to provide heart rate data and even syncs to Apple’s iOS 8 Health. And you don’t have to worry about constantly charging the device. The Activité Pop runs on a standard battery that’s good for up to 8 months. This gadget will run you $150, and should go on sale this March.

4. SmartMat's Yoga Mat

The SmartMat Yoga Mat will allow you to digitally connect to your ‘zen’ place, allowing you to exercise on a sensor-enabled and interactive mat. The mat monitors your body’s pressure points to let you know if you’re going a little too downward on that Downward-Facing Dog pose. It costs just under $300, and should be available in July.

5. Zensorium’s Being

Zensorium’s Being gadget takes the concept of fitness tracking one step further by also tracking your mood. The device uses sensors to monitor blood pressure and heart rate. This data then determines your level of stress. This lets wearers know if they are “distressed,” “excited,” “normal,” or just “calm.” The rectangular-shaped OLED display is 3 ATM (Atmospheres) water resistant. Being costs $169.95 and is available now for pre-order.