(CNN) Adam Lucio has been a wheelchair user since he was a child. After playing wheelchair basketball for Oklahoma State University, he now hopes to become a professional adaptive triathlete and take part in Iron Man contests alongside able-bodied competitors.
Wearable tech is a key part of his training regimen. When playing basketball, tennis, taking on marathons or competing in wheelchair racing, he wears a smart watch. In the pool, Lucio wears FORM Smart Swim Goggles.
Worn like normal goggles, the Smart Swim Goggles feature an augmented reality heads-up display that allows you to track your progress as you swim, letting you know your speed, distance, and biometric data like heart rate.
Adaptive athlete Adam Lucio says that wearable tech like the FORM Smart Swim Goggles is the future of training.
"Tech like the smart goggles really helps out tracking my times, my metrics, and helps me progress in my training," says Lucio. "The goggles are really helping me pursue my paratriathlete goals."
Athletes are increasingly using wearable tech to push the boundaries of human ability. These devices are designed to provide an objective way of recording physical performance, turning professional sports into a calculable science.
These high-tech sports could be the future
Technology is rapidly changing our lives, and that applies to sport as much as anywhere else. For example, RoboCup is a soccer competition for autonomous robots, watched by tens of thousands of spectators. Look through the gallery to see some of the other ground-breaking sports being played today.
RoboCup's Small Size league features teams of six robots that must fit within a 180 mm diameter circle and must be no higher than 15 cm. The ultimate aim of the tournament is to advance the development of intelligent robots.
ROBO-ONE is a robot fighting competition, organized by the Biped Robotics Association. The robots fight in an octagonal ring and must knock down their opponent three times to win. As well as providing spectator thrills, the competition aims to improve robotic technology and promote intelligent robots to the public.
Segway polo is like regular polo, but instead of horses, players ride two-wheeled electric Segways. The Segway Polo Club of Barbados, pictured in blue, won the 2019 World Championship.
Coming soon, perhaps, to an off-road racecourse near you, is the Furrion Prosthesis exo-bionic racing mech robot. This giant robotic exoskeleton was created by engineer Jonathan Tippet. His vision is to use it for mech racing -- a sport where people will pilot huge mechanical suits through complex obstacle courses.
Aiming to promote the use of sustainable micromobility transportation in urban areas, the eSkootr Championship will launch in Spring 2022. Riders will race through inner-city circuits on high-tech S1-X electric scooters, which can reach speeds of over 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour.
In drone soccer, teams of between three and five pilots score points by flying their "striker" drone through their opponent's goal, while the opposition tries to block them. The sport, which originated in South Korea, had its first US tournament in July last year at the Rocky Mountain State Games, in Colorado, and leagues are set to launch in Colorado, New York, Ohio, and elsewhere.
One half of what could become a future sport is FORPHEUS -- an intimidating table-tennis playing robot developed by automation parts maker Omron. It's intended to help its human opponent train by matching the difficulty of its play to their abilities, using cameras that detect their movement, facial expression and heart rate.
Speedgate is a game created by artificial intelligence, and combines aspects of croquet, rugby and soccer. A neural network was trained using rules from around 400 sports, according to AKQA, the design agency behind Speedgate. The sport is now growing into a US-wide university league, AKQA says.
Camel racing is a traditional sport in the Middle East. But while child jockeys were once commonplace, in countries such as the United Arab Emirates they have been replaced by lightweight robot jockeys. The robot jockeys consist of a metal frame with remote-controlled features.
As well as a standard whip, trainers can add extra features to their robot jockeys, such as a GPS to pinpoint the camel's location, a walkie talkie to allow the trainer to speak to the camel, and a heart rate monitor.
In first-person view drone racing, pilots guide drones through complex racecourses while wearing goggles that stream live video from the drones' cameras. The Drone Racing League (DRL) has been televised by major networks and amassed over 75 million global fans since launching in 2016, according to DRL CEO and founder Nicholas Horbaczewski.
More than a contest, Cybathlon is a competition that showcases high-tech devices for people with physical disabilities. Organized by Swiss university ETH Zurich, participants compete in events that involve everyday tasks such as balancing on rocks with a prosthetic leg or overcoming uneven terrain in an electric-powered wheelchair race. Pictured, Cho Yu NG competes at the first Cybathlon in 2016.
"The potential for achievement with this new technology is amazing," says Lucio. "If you can track your performance down to the millisecond, understand and correct your form, there's no excuse not to push yourself."
He believes that professional athletes will be able to achieve new levels of accomplishment with the help of wearables. "Records are going to be broken using this tech," Lucio tells CNN. "I think you're going to see boundaries being pushed, and you're going to see a lot less injuries."
Keeping the world's best athletes on the field
Wearable tech isn't only being used to boost individual performance. Catapult allows coaches to monitor the performance and health of players on their teams, using a smart vest, monitoring pod and accompanying app to reduce the risk of injury.
The company says the technology is used by many teams in the English Premier League, and every NFL team in the US.
"With wearables, that data now gets really at the micro level of what's happening," says Will Lopes, CEO of Catapult Sports. "What it's doing is really comparing what's physiologically happening on the inside of an athlete."
For coaches, this can mean the difference between understanding a player's physical limits and pushing them beyond and risking injury.
Read: Headsets instead of head injuries: How VR tech could make football safer
"Fatigue is a good example," he adds. "You really want to have objective data points to understand, 'have I over-trained an athlete?'
"The fact that you have great stars like Tom Brady and Neymar playing much longer in their careers than they would have only 20, 30 years ago, is really because the scientific program is allowing them to really stay in the field longer, be healthier longer."
The future of sport is smart
Simon Barbour is a sports performance analysis expert at Loughborough University, in the UK. "Wearable technology in sport can give a non-invasive form of data collection and an accurate depiction of what is happening in a game or in the event," he says. "In essence, you are able to capture multiple data sets without interfering directly in the athlete's performance."
Read: From robot soccer to speedgate, these sports of the future already exist
"In terms of the scale of use of wearable technology, every elite sportsperson and sports team uses wearable technology, because it can be the difference between winning and losing," Barbour adds.
Among the most exciting innovations in the field is the TESLASUIT (which isn't connected to the car manufacturer) -- a full-body smart jumpsuit that captures both motion and biometrics and provides haptic feedback to the wearer. For example, if it detects that a boxer is swinging punches with a poor technique, it will deliver an electric pulse to let them know.
Boxer Ben Stanoff, right, says that training with wearables like TESLASUIT will create a new way of training for the next generation of athletes.
Las Vegas-based Australian professional boxer Ben Stanoff, 26, tried it out and believes that wearable tech like the TESLASUIT could offer boxers a crucial edge in their training to take them to champion level.
Athletes can replay training sessions where they wore the suit, and the addition of a VR headset creates an immersive environment to review the techniques from the session.
"You can only train so much -- but wearing this suit, you're able to go home and then redo the whole training session again in your mind, watching it on a screen, but with that virtual reality, and it's just going to make all the difference," Stanoff says. "I think this is the future of training."