A big "Thank You", to the whole "Stoff im Kopf" team with its coaches and mentors, to the Reutlingen University with its sewing laboratory and other textile facilities and especially to the external partners from the private sector, who played a major role in this first success!
Under the working title "Project StrikeOut" we have succeeded in creating an augmented-reality-wearable technology that is able to automate the scoring of points, especially in martial arts. It is crucial that this wearable system knows which parts of the system touch during sparring or in a competition (hit to the head or body, e.g. see also in the gallery). In addition, acceleration and motion sensors are installed in microcontrollers, which allow conclusions to be drawn about the impact force and the impact movement. This information can also be evaluated with the help of artificial intelligence with reference to correct striking techniques. This makes it possible to adapt the system to many different sets of rules of many competition forms such as light contact, full contact or semi-contact/pointfighting and, if necessary, to objectively define or exclude the "too hard, invalid hits".
Furthermore, the system creates more safety for martial arts or self-defense training. Due to the technical necessity to have electrically conductive surfaces on hit zones and impact units (such as e.g. head and boxing glove) in training and also in sparring, the protection of the face in competitions with, for example a grid, is absolutely necessary. In return, the user receives real-time and automated measurement data for hit detection and the force of impacts. Even blocked shots can be detected or declined with this system. Overall, this puts the performance comparison of hit data in front and ensures that a "knock out" no longer has to be the unmistakable proof of the victory of an opponent. And for training, new interactive gamified combat technique tasks are possible, which the system can control and correct automatically. This frees up more time for coaches and ensures gamified learning opportunities for students.
We believe in the success of this project and walk on under its future name: Tribestrike.
1. Why is it common to train and fight without face protection, when there is already appropriate protective equipment available and you risk your health and the good looks every time?
2. Why are the hits that determine a fighter's performance still subjectively evaluated from the outside, when many other contact sports already incorporate technological approaches?
Technological solutions to alleviate these two problems were the starting point of "Project StrikeOut". In the meantime, a solution has been developed that offers perspectives for new training methods, martial arts and competitions under the aspects of technology, sensor technology, enhanced reality and artificial intelligence.
We have already achieved a lot and can already assign hits (was it a head hit, body hit or a block?), read acceleration and movement data. Generating a minimum viable product with the evaluation of this data is the next step on the way. We already have prototypes for this. More precisely, retrofittable, smart textiles as wearables for martial arts equipment are in the works. At the same time, the necessary face protection will increase security in combat (prototypes see gallery). The next step will be to evaluate the data with the help of artificial intelligence and provide an incomparable cross-reality experience including a virtual assistant for the user or the licensed martial arts school.
Virtual intelligence combined with sensoric measurement of the performance, augmented reality experience during training and competition in martial arts. Gamification of the teaching of boxing, kickboxing, karate, many other martial arts or in areas of self-defense. These are perspectives of this new approach to make martial arts even more immersive, safer and at the same time more innovative for exercisers, martial arts schools, fitness studios or spectators. We hope to find new methods to bring the good effects of martial arts training to everyone, even people who do not yet learn martial arts.
We are really proud of the approval of funding programs that honor the deep-tech approach of this project. Above all, we would like to thank our partners from industry and research for their tireless commitment!
On the way to the market we have given this system the name: Tribestrike.
However, for many people it remains an unimaginable, incomparable product. That's why we appreciate it, if you stay in contact with us, give us feedback or even request a Demo in the course of initial market analysis.
What is finally the deeper meaning and benefit of the whole project?
The motive of fighting itself is ancient and has always affected us humans in many ways. Whether the fight against an opponent, prejudices, own doubts or the fascination of the topic of the fight between good and evil in stories and the media today, it is a motif that we cannot get rid of and that shapes our being. We are convinced that this product will help people to become more aware of the ambivalent topic of fighting and to realize that the best fight is always the one that does not need to be fought, but that martial arts training offers many benefits for personal physical and mental development. In the future, a first step to apply the trained in practice is hopefully a sparring or competition with "StrikeOut" on points, instead of a painful "KnockOut" after precipitation.