Every sport has their smart tech these days. There are, however, more options for certain sports than others. Boxing, for example, has been late to the party, perhaps because there isn’t as much of a market for smart boxing gear as there is for say, golf or tennis, or perhaps it’s the nature of the game. Reasons aside, there’s scant dedicated smart boxing gear to be found, but two hot examples are MM8 and StrikeTec.
Britain-based MM8 Intelligent Fightwear just finished up its successful Kickstarter campaign for 10,000 pounds. The company plans to deliver boxing and MMA gloves as well as punching bags and punch pads, all with embedded impact sensors. Cleverly enough, they also offer sensor wrap — banding with one sensor that works the same as the embedded devices but with more flexibility in placement.
The gear connects to a related free smartphone app via Bluetooth. There you can find the relevant metrics: punch speed and force for each hand, including a power meter that’ll let you know when you’re getting into knockout range.
Nice Nappa leather and gel padding round out the features of some good quality gloves. The gel insulates the sensors to keep them from getting too beat up and to allow them to absorb shock that would otherwise travel up a fighter’s arm.
The price might be a bit tough for fighters from this side of the pond — shipping rates to America likely won’t be favorable, but we can keep our fingers crossed. The boxing gloves are set to go for $110, the MMA gloves for $100. That’s if all proceeds as normal; we’re talking about a company that doesn’t even have a website set up yet. DT reached out to MM8 for comment but never got a reply.
StrikeTec handles things a bit differently from MM8 in that StrikeTec is a fitness band (with a website), not a smart version of traditional gear like gloves or bags. On the other hand, StrikeTec covers more details than just punch speed, punch type, force in pounds, and count; it offers feedback on punch acceleration, rotation, calories burned, progression tracking, along with calendar summaries.
Their app packs a bit more of a punch too. The arena mode option shows real-time fight stats. The idea is that it’s good for use in live MMA and boxing matches to overlay stats on broadcasts and sync it with websites following the sport.
Round-by-round comparison, average and max speed and force, end of round and match summaries, and even a fighter fatigue metric displays could become the norm for those $100 pay-per-view fights. Live stat tracking has already been used by NBC and Direct TV’s Big Knockout Boxing to enhance their broadcasts.
It’s not surprising that the StrikeTec pack runs $300. It comes with two sensors, two wrist adapters, the app, and a dual charger, and is available for preorder on their website.
MM8 expects to deliver to backers in February 2016. StrikeTec’s module and band should be released by the end of summer.