As a Las Vegas native who enjoys watching boxing and has always cursed the exorbitant cost of entry to fights at the MGM Grand, when an invitation to a CES event at Top Rank Boxing Gym appeared in my email inbox, I immediately RSVPed. Top Rank is a legendary boxing promoter, and its gym is where some of the greatest fighters have trained. So I went to the gym after a day of canned press conferences from the world’s biggest tech companies to see featherweight Francisco Esparza, a local champion, throw punches in the ring.
Esparza was demonstrating a new wearable device from French startup Piq Sport Intelligence, who partnered with 100-year-old boxing gear maker Everlast to develop what it calls Robot Blue. Piq’s Robot Blue is a sensor-packed nanocomputer that a boxer or mixed-martial arts fighter slips into a wrap, which is then placed around the hand or the top of the glove. The sensors, which include two accelerometers, a gyroscope, and an altimeter powered by an M4 processor, collect 190,000 data points per minute on everything from punch speed and retraction, punch impact, type of punch, punches per minute, and calories burned.
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