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Local Start-up Commercializing UNM Sensor Technology for Head Impacts

Pressure Analysis Company (PAC), a local start-up commercializing technology developed at the University of New Mexico, has announced it is taking pre-orders for its new SmackCAP skullcaps for athletes in contact sports.  The sensor technology was developed by Dr. Scott Sibbett, research professor in UNM’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and associate director of UNM’s Center for Biomedical Engineering, and is able to measure head impacts in real time.

For more SmackCAP and pre-order information, see the Pressure Analysis Company press release reprinted below.

For more on the technology, see Kevin Robinson-Avila’s December 23, 2015 article, “ABQ firm begins marketing sensor technology for athletes,” from the Albuquerque Journal, reprinted below, and Kai Porter’s December 17, 2015 story, “Local company designing impact sensor for football players,” on KOB Eyewitness News 4, at http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S3995756.shtml.

Dec. 22, 2017
Contact Michelle Urban, CEO, Pressure Analysis Co.

PAC Pre Orders PDFPAC now taking pre-orders for its pressure-sensing skull cap
Innovative design measures head impacts in real time

Pressure Analysis Company is now taking pre-orders for its SmackCAP skullcaps for athletes in
contact sports, such as football, soccer, rugby and lacrosse. The new SmackCAP measures impacts in
multiple locations on a player’s head and can deliver data wirelessly in real time to sideline staff for
analysis of head impacts.

“We’ve reached an exciting moment with PAC where we can now offer pre-orders of or SmackCAP,”
said Michelle Urban, CEO of PAC. “This is the first chance anyone will have to pre-order our skullcaps
and the chance to be on the cutting edge of contact-sports technology in 2016.”

The SmackCAP is specifically designed to be worn on a players’ head here tiny, patented, sensors can
measure impact data in real time, with or without a helmet. With the new app, data can be immediately
streamed to sideline staff for analysis.

The new SmackCAP uses sensors, not accelerometers, to measure impact data far greater than current
technologies can, across a player’s head. The software keeps a log of every impact, from a game, a
season or a player’s entire career.

PAC recently signed an exclusive agreement with the Duke City Gladiators professional indoor football
team to test the SmackCAP in its spring season.

Parents, trainers, players, coaches or anyone interested in measuring head impacts can pre-order the
skullcaps at www.epactechnolgies.com.

About PAC: Pressure Analysis Co. is commercializing the sensors developed at the University of New
Mexico. The sensors have been tested at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the company has
completed the ABQid business accelerator program. The executives of PAC are looking forward to
seeing the new film “Concussion” starring Will Smith, which opens Dec. 25.

ABQ firm begins marketing sensor technology for athletes

Pressure Analysis’ new SmackCAP is imbedded with sensors that track and measure all blows to head in contact sports, which is then transmitted wirelessly to the sidelines for coaches, medical professionals and others to analyze in real time whether a player is OK to continue playing. The system also logs the data for analysis during the season and throughout the players’ career. Photo: Courtesy of Pressure Analysis.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As Will Smith’s new film “Concussion” hits movie theaters this Christmas, a new “Made in Albuquerque” device to better protect athletes from head injuries is also preparing to hit the market for the first time.

Albuquerque startup Pressure Analysis is now accepting pre-orders for its new SmackCAP skullcap to help athletes in football, soccer and other rough sports track and measure head hits for better protection against long-term injuries like chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is profiled in the new Will Smith film, said company CEO Michelle Urban.

The Albuquerque startup developed its new device, which records all blows to the head for real-time monitoring of athletes during games and throughout the playing season, with technology developed at the University of New Mexico.

The device will be beta tested on the field for the first time by the Duke City Gladiators starting in March, when all of the indoor football league’s teammates will be outfitted with SmackCAPs during games. Then, in the fall, customers who pre-ordered the skullcap will receive the first prototypes for amateur and professional players of all ages.

“The movie ‘Concussion’ is really all about why we’re in business,” Urban said. “It’s all about repetitive hits to the head in sports, and that’s what our product tracks and measures, so we thought this was a good time to release our product with pre-orders for customers.”

The SmackCAP includes tiny sensors that measure all impacts in real time with simultaneous, wireless transmission to the sidelines for coaches, medical professionals, parents and others to analyze the data on an app. The sensors measure both hard and soft blows at multiple locations on the head. The software maintains a complete log of every hit from individual games, during the entire season and throughout the player’s career.

“It allows players and their coaches or parents to know with great accuracy how many times, how hard and exactly where the athlete was hit,” Urban said. “It provides an objective way to track all that and make sure that all players are OK.”

Researchers at UNM’s Center for Biomedical Engineering developed the sensors, which are different from the “accelerometers” that are generally used today. Those devices measure acceleration and deceleration by players when they’re impacted. The SmackCAP, in contrast, directly measures pressure from blows to the head.

“We had the pressure sensors tested by Los Alamos National laboratory against two accelerometers on the market today, and they were shown to be more sensitive and more accurate than the other devices,” Urban said.

The company has subcontracted local firms to build SmackCAP components, but it’s manufacturing its own sensors at an office at the Verge Building Downtown.

The company must yet announce a price for the SmackCAP. Pre-orders, available online at www.epactechnologies.com, will for now only indicate customer interest and potential sales, Urban said.

Duke City Gladiators founder, owner and general manager Matt Caward said his 24-member team will wear SmackCAPs throughout the spring season. UNM Health Sciences Center will do initial brain scans for baseline data and then compare players’ head injuries during the season.

“I believe this will change the way the industry tracks and evaluates head injuries and concussions to better protect players,” Caward said. “We’re particularly excited because this is a local company in Albuquerque that’s developing cutting-edge technology.”