July 2, 2022

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Eye-tracking camera from Arlington startup brings sports fans new views | ARLnow

Sponsored by Monday Properties and published by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other area technologies information. Monday Homes is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. 

Longtime Arlington resident Jay Hedley flew A-10 fighter jets for 12 many years in the Maryland Air Nationwide Guard.

When traveling missions, his airplane would observe and report what he could see in entrance of him, as effectively as the concentrating on of missiles utilizing a heads-up display. He and other pilots would critique the movie footage together soon after flying a mission to debrief.

“So then the concept came,” he explained, “why do not we coach athletes the similar way we use know-how like this from the jet?”

So he founded HeadVantage, which equips athletes with mini cameras and eye-monitoring know-how. The HeadVantage digital camera can be fitted underneath the monthly bill of a baseball cap and monitor the eye actions of the wearer. It can also measure the diameter of the wearer’s pupils a hundred instances per 2nd, Hedley claimed.

Apart from tracking eye movements, the digital camera also information high-definition, stabilized movie footage that can be streamed stay and proven on Television set.

“One way you can imagine of it is, wherever GoPro cannot go,” claimed Hedley, distinguishing HeadVantage from the preferred motion digicam manufacturer.

The HeadVantage digital camera is equipped into a pair of golf eyeglasses (through SportsTech)

For the reason that of the camera’s eye-monitoring and streaming skills, HeadVantage can offer unique content to athletics enthusiasts, explained Jenna Kurath, the head of Comcast NBCU SportsTech.

“To be capable to see it from the viewpoint of the athlete, to get into the brain of the athlete by the eye-tracking of all those break up-second selections that they are making,” she stated, “this is going to provide new fan-engagement written content to the forefront.”

With this camera, sports commentators will be capable to evaluate an athlete’s general performance from their viewpoint.

“Oftentimes our commentators will do the replay and say, ‘How did they do this?’” Kurath stated. “Now this is the capability to sort of see it by way of the eyes of the athlete to seriously get a little little bit a lot more into their thoughts.”

Arlington-based mostly HeadVantage was chosen as aspect of Comcast NBCUniversal’s SportsTech Accelerator in 2022, a method that related 10 startups with various system associates, this kind of as NBC Athletics, Entire world Wrestling Entertainment and NASCAR. HeadVantage was picked out from amid over 800 candidates about the planet, according to a information release from NBCUniversal.

Given that becoming a member of the program, HeadVantage has been prototyping the digicam to be employed in golf, fitting it in golfers’ eyeglasses.

Instructors in NBC Sports’ golfing reveals, these as School of Golf‘s Martin Corridor and other people in the company’s subscribers-only GolfPass information, have utilized HeadVantage cameras, stated Kurath, who also ran the startup plan. The digicam will be used in a number of movie star golf tournaments in the summer, she famous.

Founder Jay Hedley stands at the HeadVantage station at a Comcast NBCUniversal SportsTech Accelerator party (courtesy image)

Hedley launched the startup in 2020, in accordance to his LinkedIn website page. At this time, his major purchaser is NBC Sports activities and his principal goal for HeadVantage this calendar year is to get the digital camera utilised in NBC golf protection.

“I’d enjoy to get embedded in NBC golfing this 12 months, possibly with baseball this calendar year,” Hedley reported, “So baseball and golfing will be the two sports we’d target on this yr.”

Even though Hedley did not intend to sell his cameras on the mass market, he is on the lookout to grow their uses to athletics other than golf.

“That’s to demonstrate the use scenario of it, and then the upcoming step is to acquire that and embed it into the confront mask of a soccer helmet, or a cricket helmet, or a hockey helmet,” he said.

Hedley has also been in dialogue with the Atlanta Braves baseball group and is scheduled to chat with Sky Sporting activities in the U.K. in August for employing HeadVantage cameras in cricket, he reported. He would like to see the camera utilized in “any activity with a helmet,” he said.

Hedley hoped to unfold HeadVantage to other parts as perfectly, these types of as for law enforcement human body cameras and a software for diagnosing concussions.

Headquartering the corporation in Arlington gave Hedley the option to talk to Georgetown University, the Washington Commanders soccer team and the Pentagon about expanding the camera’s marketplaces.

“Arlington is type of suitable there in the nexus of it,” Hedley reported.