Monday, 20 October 2014

Tyndall helps GRASP launch out of the starting blocks

Wearable technologies company a clear favourite to be a market leader

Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English T.D., has launched a high-tech spinout, GRASP Wearable Technologies at Tyndall National Institute. GRASP Wearable Technologies are gearing up for the release of their first market-ready offering, which will measure running biomechanics. Building on almost 10 years of research led by scientists at the Tyndall National Institute at UCC, Cork, GRASP is set to introduce world-leading embedded wearable technology.

Attending today’s launch, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English T.D., said, ‘Today’s launch is the culmination of several years’ hard work and innovation from both Tyndall and GRASP. The technology on display here today is truly world-leading and testimony to Ireland’s ability to harness scientific potential to meet industry’s needs.’ Minister English added “GRASP is a perfect example of how the enterprise development agencies in Ireland are working together to help create companies and jobs”.

Today’s information hungry society has a seemingly insatiable appetite for smart products that engage us with real-time feedback about our performance. GRASP’s wearable technologies will measure the wearer’s bio-mechanical parameters based on principal research carried out at Tyndall under the leadership of Dr Michael Walsh, who is also GRASP’s Chief Technology Officer.

Tyndall CEO, Kieran Drain said, ‘The innovative technology GRASP is using to create a competitive range of products was developed in Tyndall. Ten years of research supported by SFI, EI and the EU have enabled Tyndall to develop competitive technologies robust enough to generate a new company. We wish GRASP every success and look forward to supporting GRASP in the further development of their technology. We fully expect GRASP to derive the kind of economic impact that we at Tyndall strive for with our research.’

Using sophisticated algorithms, GRASP will be able to provide an instantaneous three dimensional profile about a user’s stride length, vertical lift and impact. This information can be used to draw informed conclusions about a user's performance and efficiency, and can be applied to improving an athlete’s running technique and helping avoid injury, to analysing real-time player and team position and movement patterns in team sports.

Looking to capitalise on the growing consumer demand for wearable technologies, GRASP is creating innovative and disruptive technologies with applications in sport, health, fitness and rehabilitation. A recent report by IDTechEX values the wearable technologies market at $14bn, with this set to increase to $70bn by 2024. With major technology players such as Apple, Google and Samsung all expanding their wearable technology platforms, opportunities in the sector has never been so strong. GRASP are actively seeking investment to bring their products to market, with clear market potential and genuine benefits for the consumer.

GRASP CEO, Ken Byrne, commented, 'GRASP takes this leading sensory technology out of the laboratory and places it on an athlete, a person or a patient. The ability to capture and analyse detailed data on human movement and physiology opens the door to improving health and human performance in a very profound way.

GRASP, based in Tyndall, have carried out extensive user analysis to understand what the athlete, runner and end user really needs in a wearable system for running and how existing product gaps and unmet needs can be addressed. The culmination of this research is the development of technology that will equip the runner with a complete assessment of running technique and the provision of real-time feedback and coaching that is helpful and actionable. The athlete will able to further asses running performance and progression through the provision of tailored dashboards and analytics.