The rise of wearables over the last five years has been meteoric. Almost 25% of Americans now own one, nearly 15% use them daily and within two years the global market is expected to top $12 billion. The hype behind them makes sense. They’re trendy, futuristic and help millions of people accomplish their personal health goals.
As the market continues to grow, more companies have begun to develop wearables that serve niches we barely considered just a few years ago. Today we have wearables made for swimmers, heart rate monitors that double as earbuds and wrist watches that help correct for workout form.
So what’s next on the horizon? Combat training wearables.
With the help of former USA national boxing team member Tommy Duquette, two University of Canada graduates have created Hykso, a wearable designed specifically for those who prefer punching bags over lifting dumbbells.
After Duquette, the former No. 2 boxer in the nation, failed to qualify for the 2008 Olympics, he replayed his qualifying round loss in his head over and over.
“Getting so close, it made me think, ‘what could I have done differently? Could I have done an extra training session, could I have rested, done an extra push-up?’ It’s really difficult to quantify that stuff.”- Tommy Duquette
Since graduating Babson College he’s worked as the head of business development at Hykso, leveraging his boxing community connections to test beta versions at gyms throughout Boston.
The Hykso device is tucked into the cloth that fighters use to wrap their hands before putting on boxing gloves. The sensor has an accelerometer to measure punch speed, as well as a gyroscope to measure the orientation of movement, frequency and variety of punches thrown. The data is then transmitted to a connected app on a smartphone.
The wearable is proving to be an invaluable resource for trainers, athletes and fans alike.
At most gyms trainers manually count the punches thrown by a fighter, usually using a clicker. Hykso not only counts punches for you, but it also gives trainers the ability to analyze how strong the punches were by the end of the session. Hykso’s tech has been able to quantify stats that just a few years ago were nearly impossible to quantify.
For athletes, Hykso helps serve one of the fastest growing fitness niche’s in the country. Adidas estimates that 35 million people are now looking to combat sports for their fitness fix. Hykso’s device helps those 35 million people make combat fitness a reality and brings a competitive edge to what is normally a solo endeavor. Hykso’s platform includes a social feed that allows friends using the device to compare scores and statistics.
And for fans, Hykso has the ability to completely transform the experience of watching a boxing match. New England Fights, a boxing and martial arts competition, used Hykso to act as a public scorecard. During the match the device kept track of the punches thrown and average punch speed on two big screens near the ring, creating a more interactive fan experience than ever before.
After raising $120,000 from start-up bootcamp Y Combinator to conduct beta testing, Hykso is now available for purchase for $149.99 on their website.
Combat training wearables aren't the only thing on the come up this year. Check out our 10 Tech Trends in 2016 guide to learn about the rest.