The Linx IAS is incredibly thin

Linx IAS amongst the “quiet heroes of CES”

By James Niccolai

They dont make a lot of headlines, but the tiny sensors that track movement, orientation and pressure are the quiet heroes of the International CES.

Properly known as micro-electro-mechanical systems, or MEMS, the sensors really do have impossibly small mechanical parts and are mounted on chips just a few millimeters across.

Smartphones contain dozens of them, and the popularity of those devices has driven down prices for MEMS and allowed them to be used in other products where they might otherwise have been too expensive.

Take the Linx Impact Assessment System, a device on show here that weighs a little more than a penny and fits into a headband or skull cap to monitor athletes for concussion-causing collisions.

The Linx IAS contains a 3-axis accelerometer, a 3-axis gyroscope, and low-power Bluetooth Smart technology to transmit collision data to the sidelines, with the goal of helping trainers and doctors to identify and treat potential injuries more quickly. It’s available for pre-order from BlackBox Biometrics, which says it will ship the product soon.

MEMS are in virtually every wearable computer and fitness gadget at CES, including a chest band from Wahoo Fitness that counts how many push-ups youve done, or the ShotTracker device that records how many shots a basketball player has attempted.

Along with products containing sensors, there are new MEMS components being announced at CES this week. Bosch Sensortec, a big maker of sensors, announced what it calls is the world’s first environmental device combining sensors for pressure, humidity, temperature and indoor air quality.

The device could find its way into smart smoke alarms for the home, or into smartphones that share their data to provide new insights about atmospheric pollution and weather. Bosch says samples will ship to device makers this quarter.

Another company, PNI Sensor, is introducing a bracelet-like development kit that’s packed with sensors from different vendors that PNI has pre-integrated, allowing other companies to get devices like smart watches and fitness bands to market more quickly. The kit, including connectivity and a programmable processor, is available now for US$299.

There are whole conference tracks at CES devoted to MEMS, though they may draw few attendees outside the industry. But without MEMS, a lot of the smart gadgets at CES would be a lot less clever.

MEMS sensors are the quiet heroes of CES |

Mashable Touts Linx IAS’s Real-Time Warning Capabilities

By Karissa Bell

LAS VEGAS — With sports concussions becoming deadlier than ever, athletes, coaches and parents are looking for ways to prevent what can be devastating head injuries.

Now a startup is offering a wearable sensor that alerts players, coaches and parents to head injuries as soon as they happen — bringing to light serious impacts that may otherwise go undetected.

Monday at CES, BlackBox Biometrics is officially unveiling the Linx Impact Assessment System (IAS), an app-enabled wearable sensor that tracks head injuries and impacts in real time.

The Linx IAS, which is about the size of a piece of gum, is worn inside a headband that can be worn on its own or under a helmet. It’s equipped with an accelerometer and a gyroscope, and connects to a smartphone or tablet app via bluetooth.

The accompanying app enables parents, coaches and trainers to monitor head injuries in real time from the sidelines. When an impact occurs, the sensor sends an alert to the app — it has a range up to 300 feet — with a color-coded notification of the potential injury and severity of the impact.

Green indicates a minor hit, yellow moderate and red severe.

The app also tracks the buildup of all sustained impacts over time, and all its data can be shared with medical professionals after the game.

The company first developed its concussion detection technology for the military and law enforcement before creating the Linx IAS. What sets it apart from other concussion management products, BlackBox Biometrics CEO Rick Spotts told Mashable, is that the sensor sits on top of the skull, rather than embedded in a helmet. This allows the sensor to track the severity of the impact with better accuracy.

The sensor will go on sale in in March.

Headband sensor warns of sports injuries in real time | Mashable

Men’s Journal names Linx IAS one of the most innovative products at CES

Recently, it’s tough to talk about the game of football without also talking about injuries, including concussions. But helmets aren’t the only things evolving. The Linx IAS is a wearable device that pairs with an app that gives you an idea of just how hard a player on the field took a hit. It’s still early to tell if consumers will really buy this and if coaches will adopt the system, but it’s at least a good start in trying to address a real problem in the game.

Linx IAS: Best of CES |