Gloves lined with sensors, artificial intelligence, approved for test-run at UFC 219

Gloves lined with sensors, artificial intelligence, approved for test-run at UFC 219

Well here’s something new.  Today, the Nevada Athletic Commission approved the use of a new glove prototype that could potentially change the way mixed martial arts bouts are contested.

According to MMAJunkie, the commission approved a test-run for a new “UFC-approved glove that uses analytics and artificial intelligence to tell the story of a fight.”

Select fighters competing at UFC 219 on December 30 will be equipped with glove sensors that measure everything from punch strength to stress. The data from those sensors will then be interpreted in real time using analytics and artificial intelligence.

Data collected can be used to display for fans watching the televised broadcasts, but also used to improve fighter safety. The information gathered can be used to learn more about CTE and concussions.

“Shouldn’t we tell the story of sport that way? Shouldn’t sport be told in real time, with real data, with real information, and with real insights, and the real emotions? We are a company which is trying to revolutionize the way we’re going to (broadcast) sports and live events,” HEED co-founder Mati Kochavi said.

HEED is a computer platform company that along with analytics company AGT International, conducted a live demonstration took place this past month at the tech conference “AWS re:Invent 2017.”

The demonstration was a sparring session between UFC fighters Edson Barboza and Mark Diakiese.

Kochavi said the sensors used to collect data produce 70 new insights about what happens during a fight. The sensors on the gloves alone, he said, produce 12 different “stories.” There are sensors in the octagon canvas to measure movement and range, and even sensors monitoring a fighter’s cornermen and his family members.

It does not appear that data collected at UFC 219 will be visible for the fans watching at home. The December 30 event will serve as a testbed for the platform.