Technology! It’s a Marmite thing, isn’t it? You either embrace it, allowing it to – hopefully – enhance your everyday existence, or dismiss it as the scourge of modern society
In the world of fitness and exercise, tech – and in particular wearable tech – has been doing the rounds for some time. Whether it’s basic distance or cardio trackers, most adopters would argue it’s generally a good thing that improves your workout, providing data and analysis that is both fun and informative.
Combat sport-specific tech has been a little slower to emerge, and even now much of the exciting stuff remains at prototype stage. We’ve seen some oddball stuff, including a BJJ rash guard that tracks your throws and rolls and feeds back data to show how you can improve technique. But perhaps the biggest noise has surrounded punch tracker technology. It’s been talked about for the best part of a decade, but it’s only now that we’re starting to see kit emerge onto the mainstream market.
Let’s not be too concerned with the algorithmic science that underpins it here. We’d only be copy and pasting stuff that we don’t understand and that will almost certainly turn you away from this article quicker than a Pacquiao punch.
Put simply, punch trackers do exactly what they say: providing on-demand strike data and real-time performance stats. It’s a veritable feast of work rate analysis. And the data is intricate too: it can determine whether the strike is a jab, a hook or a cross; the lbs of force applied; frequency and speed. Furthermore, it can break it down by combination, rounds or other parameters you desire. So clever stuff indeed, and with years of development under the belt it appears to work as claimed
Before we look at the main players in the market, it’s worth a quick note on the practical stuff, namely wear-ability
. Fortunately, the trackers score highly here too, with two small wireless trackers – see pics below - sitting under the wraps on the back of the hand. The invasion is minimal and indeed we’ve spoken with a few guys that have tried them out who said they couldn’t feel they were there. Oh, and they’re sweat and water resistant too!
OK, so here are the players. (full reviews later this year!):
First up, from the UK – Manchester to be exact – Corner – The Complete Boxing Tracker.
The guys at Corner are gearing up for their first shipments in June. The Corner trackers are also the cheapest, with a pre order cost of just £49.99 (normally £79.99).
HYKSO - www.hykso.com
From Canada, the Hykso tracker is a little ahead of the game, with their first batch already released and in use! The next batch is set for delivery in April 2017.
Expect to pay around $230 (about 190 quid).
STRIKETEC - www.striketec.com
Texas based company Striketec
have spent 6 years developing and testing their offering. Used at last year’s UFC Athlete Summit, the tech has also been approved by the Nevada Boxing Commission.
With an estimated July 2017 release, expect to pay in the region of $250 (just over 200 quid).
We’ll be doing full reviews on the punch trackers later in the year, when we manage to get our grubby hands on them. STAY TUNED!