ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque startup Pressure Analysis Co. made the “Sweet Sixteen” selection of national companies competing for a finalist spot in Mobile Future’s annual technology competition.
Pressure Analysis, a graduate of the ABQid business accelerator, is marketing University of New Mexico technology that enables athletes in football, soccer and other rough sports to track and measure hits to the head for better protection against long-term injuries.
It entered its SmackCAP skullcap in Mobile Future’s national competition, which challenges entrepreneurs to submit new mobile apps, products and services with potential for lasting social benefit.
Mobile Future, a Washington, D.C.-based association that encourages investment and innovation in wireless technology, announced Nov. 3 that the SmackCAP is one of its “Sweet Sixteen” finalists competing for four cash prizes ranging from $2,500 to $10,000.
Three Sweet Sixteeners will be chosen to pitch for three prizes, and a $2,500 “People’s Choice” award will go the company with the most support in open online voting now underway.
The SmackCAP includes tiny sensors that measure all impacts as they happen, with simultaneous wireless transmission to the sidelines for analysis, said company CEO Michelle Urban.
The sensors measure hard and soft blows at multiple locations on the head. The software maintains a complete log of every hit from all individual games and throughout a player’s career.
Pressure Analysis teamed with the Duke City Gladiators indoor football team to field test the SmackCAP. Gladiators in all field positions wore it during this year’s playing season, said team founder, owner and general manager Matt Caward.
“We’re the inaugural team for wearing the SmackCAP,” Caward said. “It captured impacts for the first time ever on top athletes from around the country. It’s great information that can make the sport safer.”
Urban said the SmackCAPs performed as expected.
“The data we gathered showed what we set out to prove, that our sensors can measure in real time where, how hard and how many times an athlete is hit,” Urban said.
UNM Health Sciences Center is reviewing data from initial brain scans it did on some Gladiators. Los Alamos National Laboratory is comparing the data with other measurement technologies.
But with Gladiator data now in hand, Pressure Analysis is moving toward manufacturing.
“We’re beyond the prototype stage now,” Urbin said. “We plan to have sellable units out by next year.”