London’s Wearable Technology Show 2016 saw many of industry’s top brains showing off their latest devices. Unlike last year’s show, we saw more smartwatches being worn by the staff in Wagamama across the river than we did on the entire floor of the Show, which was a bit surprising.
There was plenty going on in the way of VR and AR, plus enough to get your teeth into in other categories like smart clothing and smart jewelry. However, it was health and fitness that dominated the event, which is of course in sync with the current wearable tech industry, and is predicted to be its driving force in the years to come.
In honesty though, I’m already starting to nod off.. Health hubs, clouds, apps and advanced ways of monitoring oxygen levels, heart rate variability, blood pressure and all that other medical malarkey are certainly beneficial, but unless they enable me to run 100 meters in 5 seconds or make me look 25 when I’m 150 they’re not gonna get me pumping my fist in glee..
What does float my nerd boat and inspires me to begin hammering my keyboard are performance wearables for sports. One of the stand-out exhibitors at WTS 2016 was a UK-based startup called Athletec and their punch tracking technology, Corner. Along with presenting their new wearable on the Launchpad stage, Athletec allowed us to get up close and personal with Corner at their booth.
Corner Helps You Punch Faster and Harder..
Corner is a cutting-edge wearable designed to track and improve the hand speed, power, accuracy and overall performance of boxers of every level. Of course, the technology isn’t limited to boxing, as striking with the hands is integral across many combat sport disciplines, such as MMA, kickboxing, Muay Thai, Savate, Sanda, Shoot Boxing and more.
The Corner hardware consists of two small, lightweight Bluetooth LE-enabled sensors containing 3-axis accelerometers that attach to your hand wraps. The punch-tracking sensors connect to iOS and Android devices and work straight out of the box. Every punch type – jabs, hooks, crosses and uppercuts; blocks and combinations are displayed in real-time as you train.
We asked Athletec to tell us more about their boxing wearable..
“Corner is the first, complete wearable performance tracker for boxing, measuring all types of training from: sparring, Heavy-bag, shadow boxing and pad work. Corner measures each individual punch live for the user to gain instant feedback. Corner provides performance metrics for speed, power and accuracy – giving an in-depth review of their performance.
Corner breaks down the fighter’s training even further and provides fighter style insights; with each individual punch identified and combinations tracked. Corner provides the ultimate round by round feedback for fighters. Using the unique hands free navigation, both athlete and coach can easily view the data collected and navigate between the feedback information.”
Who is the product for?
“The product is aimed at anyone who is interested in boxing training. Whether this is aimed at the fitness element of boxing training or those who are looking to improve the technical aspect of boxing. This can range from boxing hobbyist, competitive amateur to professional fighters.”
What about compatibility?
“The free app will be available on both Android and iOS. Athletes and coaches will be able to view the data online, using any desktop. With a coach having access online, they will be able to track and monitor each of their fighters 24/7, allowing the fighter to benefit from around the clock coaching.”
How long does the battery last and how’s it charged?
“When a consumer purchases Corner, it will include a dual charging cable for the sensors. Battery life will last over 4 hours of live usage, however there will be an off-line feature that will be available for fighters using Corner.
The offline mode could be more useful for competitive fighters who are training 3 to 4 times a week, and are more interested in viewing their weekly performance analysis rather than day-to-day. The data collected would be synced at the end of each session, preserving the battery life further.”
The all-important price and release date?
“Corner will begin at a pre-order price of £49.99 from Athletec’s website in July. With this, you receive two wrist sensors, a free app and a dual charging cable. Devices will be shipped in October.”
Athletec started out as a university project from a boxing enthusiast who regularly trained at his local gym. As Charles trained more, he wanted to combine his passion for boxing with his Mechanical Engineering final year project.
Charles teamed up with fellow amateur boxer and Imperial College lecturer, Dr Ravi Vaidyanathan, to work together to develop the first fully functional prototype for the performance-tracking boxing wearable, Corner.
Corner’s combination of unobtrusive wearable technology and IoT implementation makes it possible to provide performance analysis suitable for elite athletes, yet accessible to every athlete and coach striving for improved performance.
Upon graduating from Imperial College, Charles continued working on the system with design graduate Jerry Krylov, who happened to be subletting his house at the time. A small logo design favour soon turned into a thorough blueprint for the commercial image of Corner, with fluidity spanning across user experience of the mobile app to the ergonomics of the product.
With a fine eye for detail and extensive design background, Jerry was the final addition, with passion and product care at the heart of the company, Athletec Ltd was born.