Rugby (or, as its participants like to call it, real football) can be brutal. Fifteen men to a side, dressed in shorts, shirts, and knee socks (and no pads) run into, around, and over each other to kick, pass, and carry a ball into an end zone as many times as possible. Elbowing and head-butting bring penalties, but have been known to happen. Even the vocabulary is a bit on the forceful side: maul, ruck, scrum, grubber.
So it doesn’t come as a big surprise that Sansible has developed LiveSkin, a wearable for Rugby players, which measures upper body force, sustained or exerted by different muscle groups. Jack Ng, co-founder of Sansible, told SportTechie that the measurement of force is a first.
LiveSkin’s thin pads fit the shoulders and upper arms of a shirt and feed metrics to an app on a smartphone or tablet, telling a coach whether his players are learning to hit harder and smarter. It can also point coaches at play patterns that might lead to injury.
Sansible is working with rugby clubs to test LiveSkin and hopes that it will eventually be used at all levels of play, including youngsters just starting out. It plans to make the product publicly available in 18 months.