How hard can you punch? Its an age old measurement of masculinity that’s been exploited by TV show developers and carnival machine makers for decades, but what if you want to track your progress over time? That’s always been something much harder to quantify and was probably easier to do just by your buddy saying “ow” louder as you hit the pads each week. However one developer believes there’s a better way and has created the iPunch, the world’s first power tracking gloves that can tell you just how hard and how well you’re punching.
The iPunch comes equipped with two major sensors suites. One measures pressure and can therefore give you an indication of how powerful your strike is when it hits. That data is combined with information from a three axis accelerometer, which knows how fast you’re punching. That information is transmitted via bluetooth to the companion app, which looks at how you hit, where it landed and how hard you did it, giving you a break down of all this information to help you improve over time.
The app also comes equipped with a boxing trainer, which will call out combinations for you to throw, as well as offering endurance rounds where you throw continuously for set periods of time.
The gloves come in a single flavour at the moment – MMA – so they’re fingerless and could therefore allow for grappling as well, though it’s not clear how protected the sensors are. There’s plans in the future for the developers, Responsive Sports, to develop a full size boxing glove as well, with the same built in sensors.
Your power, speed and technique can be tracked over time, to show you how you’ve improved and can even offer tips to help you take things one step further.
Battery life is said to last around 15 hours.
You can currently pre-order a set of iGloves for $140 (£82) on IndieGoGo, with plans to ship them this October. If you’re interested in stocking up your gym with them too, you can buy the four pair pack for the rough price of $125 a piece.
While the idea of measuring your punching power is a cool idea, there are some problems with the iGlove. Firstly, they’re a lot more expensive than your average pair of MMA mitts. If you’re getting a fairly basic, pair, you can pick them up for maybe £15, £30 if you want quite a nice one. I’d like to know how much the developers spent on the gloves and how much went into the sensors to come up with an £80 price tag.
There’s also an issue with the fact that gloves can’t be submerged in water due to the sensitive electronics. This is a problem as anyone who’s used gloves for any period of time will know that they start to stink before long. Only being able to wipe them down isn’t going to help much.
The final problem though is that these gloves are advertised as a way to get better at punching without training. That sort of mentality is going to get people hurt as they wail away with these things with poor technique.
I’ll actually probably buy a pair of these when they’re out, as I’d love to see that stats on my own punching. That said, I feel like the company behind it should advocate actual boxing or martial arts training, as punching without it can lead to serious injuries.