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February 2018

StrikeTec Accuracy 150 150 wes

StrikeTec Accuracy

The Science Behind StrikeTec

In 2013, I made it my goal to create a tool that could accurately measure power from all aspects of physical combat. Speed, punch pattern recognition, and force are the key stats that I wanted to display in a way that can be easy for the user to understand.

In order to make this possible, I consulted with Wayne State University to run the first phase of testing for what would soon be the official StrikeTec sensors. The university lab had worked on many major projects such as, testing helmet structure and safety for the NFL as well as running high-speed crash tests for car manufacturers like GM.

As we began the early phases of testing, we focused on a specific device in the facility called the punch piston. The punch piston helped to give us a consistent speed, compression, and acceleration time to get a more accurate reading of the power behind punches and kicks compared the numbers that were generated by athletes and beginners beforehand. Ultimately, we were trying to measure what impact the force would have on a person's head and tested it out on crash test dummies (Anthropomorphic Test Device).

The importance of understanding the effects of the force of a punch is directly related to what is ultimately happening during a boxing match. Force can be measured not only by sheer power from fighter A, but by the effect it has on fighter B. What type of “damage” did it cause?

By replicating these tests over and over again, we started to find patterns that allowed us to find traits that related to either power or force. After spending much of my time in other labs, I realized that to study hundreds of thousands of strikes and to gather more data I needed focus the teams full attention to this research. It was time to build our own lab!

The StrikeTec Lab

After traveling to different labs and facilities with unique testing devices, I decided that our in house engineers needed a space to conduct research at any time. I purchased all of the necessary equipment from high-speed cameras to software tracking devices so that we could quickly start analyzing the difference between athletes and non athletes of all skill sets.

One thing that I should mention upfront is that speed and acceleration are relatively easy data points to derive from accelerometers and gyros. The really tricky part would be measuring power, accurately and consistently during an impact that happens within milliseconds all while moving through a 3 Dimensional Flight Path. I'll start by addressing the power phenomena.

Mathematics of Unknown Object Mass

I have heard many times that you cannot measure power because Force = Mass x Acceleration and the Mass of the object is always unknown. Although I agree with the complexity of this task, I do not agree with the phrase “you cannot”. I can and we did and we are getting better and better at it each year.

So how do we accomplish this? It wasn't easy and it's taken years of measuring strikes from beginner's all the way up to the most elite athletes that we could and even now can get our hands on.

Power is very tricky to measure when it comes to the effects of momentum, elastic and inelastic collisions, but one of the most important things skill set. You can imagine a more technically skilled fighter would be able to generate more mass into their strike do to their shift in body weight. Also, a more experienced fighter will often have more of a follow through than a beginner fighter. This is deceiving and its a common mistake others are making on the market today. Do not mistake a High G impact with Power/Force. A beginner that punches a hard bag and stops suddenly, will generate a massive amount of G-Force.

By taking two people who have the same weight and studying the differences in their acceleration, impact, follow-through, punch return. There are two main phases of an impact- Compression and restitution. Compression is the moment the punch meets the object and presses forward.

Restitution is the phase in which the punch has come to a stop and begins the return. There were some great findings while studying athletes of all shapes, sizes and skillsets within these phases. More advanced strikers would have a greater compression along with a faster restitution and it stayed relatively consistent even during the fatigue process.

Although the punches have slowed down there was a similar technique that continued throughout these two phases. I'll break down this process in more detail on
another blog because it can be quite lengthy.

Variations in Testing Mechanisms

There are flaws in nearly every testing apparatus, the load cells often vary based on what the cell is attached to and what type of padding is in front of the cell along with the deterioration of either of these. If the object holding these are an old bag versus a new bag or a wall versus a pillow it makes quite a difference in the consistency of the stats.

High-speed cameras tend to have a blur while tracking the glove so you have to make adjustments with specific points on the glove and lighting to keep a good consistent result. Photocells are relatively inexpensive and can be a great tool to measuring punch speed, but there are some slight variances when measuring punches or kicks with an arc like a hook or an uppercut along with many types of kicks. I still think it's a blast to play with photocells and timers as we would often hold competitions in the lab to make the long hours fun and energetic.

When are the StrikeTec Units Shipping? 150 150 wes

When are the StrikeTec Units Shipping?

I have always been a huge fan of crowdfunding campaigns. The idea that anyone can submit a product idea, and if the public responds well to it, receive the support they need to move forward with it: is simply incredible! I have supported a few campaigns myself.

However, huge successful crowdfunding campaigns are usually infamous for having prolonged development periods and massive delays in order fulfillment. That is why, in 2015 when we launched our first successful crowdfunding campaign (a very small campaign), I never thought that my own small campaign would also experience similar delays!

It's 2018, Where are the StrikeTec Units?

Of course, we haven't been sitting around for two years not accomplishing anything. Actually the opposite is true, we have been radically developing new improvements and updates to the StrikeTec units.

Above is pictured our original proposed StrikeTec unit (left) vs the newest and final StrikeTec unit (right). Would you rather want the original ones now or the new ones later? I know that the wait has been tough for some of our most loyal supporters, and for those of you who have suck around and supported us throughout this two year journey, I promise you will be rewarded!

These final versions of the StrikeTec sensors are leagues ahead of what we had originally proposed. The battery life is better, the bluetooth distance is larger, and the units are much more compact and easy to use.

Why Waste Time Progressing?

Some might think that the delays we have caused are unnecessary. Perhaps we could have released earlier but because we are being perfectionists about our product, things are being delayed. This couldn't be farther from the truth!

When we launched our first crowdfunding campaign back in 2015, we had a working prototype, however it was not a commercial ready prototype.

As a natural result of building the commercial app and prototypes, we came across a few flaws with our algorithms and use cases. It was only natural that we would want to fix these issues as we came across them. Everyday, as we worked more and more on this product, we came across more and more small things here and there which ended up going on a list of things to fix. Before we knew it, we had basically developed a Version 2 and Version 3 StrikeTec sensor.

As we fixed issues and glitches with our units, we also came up with new ideas and new ways to use our product. New features were also being added along with our long list of little things to fix. We wanted to make sure the sensor would work in practically any use case.

In a sense, the progression of our product was a natural transition from prototype to commercial product, and as a result, the delays were inevitable.

When are the StrikeTec Units Shipping?

Actually, the first batch of orders have already been shipped! We are shipping everything in the order in which they were received. If you have received a tracking code, then your order has already been shipped!

If you have not, then do not worry because the second and final batch of shipments is on the way! We have a lot of orders to pack, label, and ship out, so each batch takes about one week to ship. The second batch is estimated to be fully shipped out by the end of this month!

What We Have Learned

Firstly, I have learned to never be disappointed or send angry letters at a other projects for delays.

Now that I have ran my own successful crowdfunding campaign, I realize that progressing the product is only a natural step forward in developing the commercial ready product, and of course, the delays are a natural result.

Words can not describe the amount of frustration, disappointment and feelings of guilt I have felt every time I received an angry letter from one of our backers or customers who are mad that they haven't received their StrikeTec yet. Every angry message I receive personally saddens me as we spent the last two years building up our product and improving it.

Of course, I don't blame some of you for being upset. You supported our campaign with your hard earned money, and we put that money to good use through the research, development, and perfection of our product! While we can not make everyone happy, I surely hope that you will all be pleased when you receive your StrikeTec sensors soon!

The purpose of this post is to inform you of where we are currently with the development of our product. We want to be totally transparent with our updates and make sure everyone is on the same page as us.

Thank you for your continued support of StrikeTec and look forward to receiving your units soon!

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