Home Box Office Inc. was recently granted a boxing glove patent it has filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Punch Force, the company’s newly-invented boxing unit, has been in existence since 2012. According to the patent filing, using the technology will allow sensors to measure the force coming from a boxing glove when it hits a person’s face and transmit the information to a database.
The accelerometer and gyroscope sensors, which are embedded into the front of a boxing glove, will be able to perform a number of functions that include recognizing and identifying various types of punches, sending data to a database filled with the motion profiles of a number of punch types, and tracking data such as start time and punch speed.
“Many currently available data capture and analysis devices for athletes are intrusive to the athlete’s performance. As a result, the devices may not be effectively used in an analysis during an event. An athlete’s uniform is designed for maximum mobility and protection, and should not impede the performance of the athlete,” the patent says. “Thus, there is a need for a system and method for data capture and analysis that does not interfere with an athlete’s actions and abides by the rules of the sport.”
The whole idea of the patent is to be able to gather real-time data of punch force and other statistics during a fight broadcast, which is akin to identifying the pitch speed in a baseball broadcast.
In particular, the information gathered by the sensors will be able to reveal a number of punch-related data such as the distance covered by each punch, the force of a punch, the duration of each punch, the speed and velocity of a punch, and other calculated instantaneous measurements.
The use of sensors in a sporting event is not entirely a new idea. Apart from HBO, the National Football League (NFL) will also be using sensors connected to a computer chip that is placed in the players’ pad. This means that starting this year’s game season, fans who are watching the games at home will be able to determine where the players are, the distance they traveled in every game and their playing speed.