Digital Mouthguards – The Consequences
Emergence of wearable technology and the prevalence of smart mobile devices have become ubiquitous. It was only matter of time before the hungry market presented a digital mouthguard and a unanimous theme is apparent. The aim is to better understand, recognise and possibly detect concussive forces.
What Signature notice in looking closely at these products and the companies behind them is that none of these products are yet available to buy. We have seen some good efforts in crowd funding campaigns, amazingly well designed websites and an integration of technologies that would make George Jetsons head spin. We are still waiting for our pre-order 1 biometrics guards to ship while three vastly different companies compete in a global climate that hasn’t yet produced enough hands in the air to be called a marketplace. The results of a 2014 Crowd Funding campaign showed a disappointing response to FitGuard, a light emitting paired device with accompanying mobile application. Even with a very modest pre-order price of $100 USD the Indigogo campaign did not reach it’s goal of $50.000 USD.
A way to divide the new products looking to enter the market could be paired and unpaired. Paired products require other systems (like laptops and mobiles phones) to effectively produce a data set. Unpaired products use all inbuilt technology to produce a less technical and simplified reading of the circumstances for which they were designed. So far the underlying theme in both types is impact recognition and management. This video shows an unpaired device using chemical technology
While we here at Signature think there is a lot to be won in the race to bring these products to market the burning question is where are the people we want to sell a digitally augmented mouthguard to?
With huge companies like Apple only just bringing wearables to the market after years of development and fanatically loyal customers for their iOS devices (iPhone/iPad/iPod). It seems to us that digitally augmented wearables have barely been explored by the leaders in the game.
Can you show us a paired product on the market that inserts into the body? The adult toy market leads the pack with stunning new terms like Teledildonics. Still, it seems few people trust the new technology will bring advantages. Our position on the effectiveness of technologically integrated mouthguards will always come back to their performance in the sport of origin, Boxing. Can you see this being used in a boxing ring, we guess our users would prefer not?
Ultimately, I feel the consequence of these emerging products is a new set of standards being proposed using data which proprietors and sponsors will likely keep close to their chest. New standards being proposed while current ones seem in disarray, according to Dental literature only three credible designs exist. A position that does not take into account the developments by key industry figures, particularly over the last 15 years.
Signature and our peers are working hard to bring you the best of available technology in Mouthguards and with more credible research plus a pull from the marketplace we expect to see ourselves on the “Techno Mouthguard” competition playing field with its biggest players soon.
Author: Luke B.