Child hockey player wearing Linx IAS

Army-grade technology featured on

By Joe Stohlman,

BlackBox Biometrics will be debuting their award-winning Linx Impact Assessment System (IAS) at the 2015 International CES. The military-tested Linx IAS technology is built to measure and track head injuries during sports and youth activities.

Thanks to some high-profile cases in the NFL, concussions are slowly being recognized as a serious risk for athletes, especially children and teens. According to the CDC, more than 170,000 traumatic brain injuries are reported annually in children up to 19 years old.

The Linx IAS is a wearable device, much like the Checklight Impact Indicator from Reebok. The device is the size of a stick of gum, and can be attached to headbands, custom skull caps and other headgear.

It boasts mobile connectivity that sends live information directly to the sidelines, so coaches know when a player has been affected. The mobile app will work on Android and Apple devices, helping coaches and parents track head impacts over time. There’s also a feature that helps to identify signs and symptoms of concussions after the hit.

BlackBox says the Linx will be available at the end of Q1 2015, and we’re hoping to check it out in person on the show floor this week. Hopefully our hands-on impressions won’t include actual head trauma.

Protect your kids with an Army-grade concussion tracker |

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 |

Linx IAS Parent Company Named Launch NY’s Entrepreneur of the Week

From Launch NY:

With a pedigree of developing blast-force sensors used in military and law enforcement settings, BlackBox Biometrics® brings its proven expertise in measuring the unseen impact of concussive forces from the battlefield to the playing field with the introduction of the Linx Impact Assessment System (IAS). Born from combat-tested technology, the company’s latest product will make its debut in January at the Consumer Electronics Show 2015.

Up to 3.8 million people per year are affected by a sports- or recreation-related brain injury, according to a 2013 Institute of Medicine report. The Linx IAS™ technology comes at a time when that number is rising, especially among young adults and children, as evidenced by a 2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, which found that between 2001 and 2009, the number of Americans younger than 19 treated each year for sports concussions rose to 250,000 from 150,000.

The Linx IAS concussion management system combines wearable technology with a mobile application to provide athletes, parents and coaches with real-time data and analysis of potential impact-related head injuries. The wearable technology weighs about the same as a nickel, is the size of a stick of gum, and fits easily into a custom skull cap or headband, allowing it to be worn in any sports environment. The companion mobile app, which will be available for Apple and Android devices, allows for impact monitoring and sideline testing, giving the user the ability to detect head impacts across sports and over time. Linx IAS will be available for purchase by the end of Q1 2015.

Linx IAS Featured in WROC News

From WROC Website:

BlackBox Biometrics CEO Rick Spotts discussed his company’s sensor based technology in our Why ROC interview Wednesday on News 8 at Sunrise.

Spotts displayed the company’s Linx Impact Assessment System (IAS) and explained how it works. He said the technology was originally developed as blast force sensors for the military. Linx IAS allows data related to the unseen impact of concussive forces to be collected and shared in real time. It will makes its debut in January at the Consumer Electronics Show.

The wearable technology is combined with a mobile application to provide athletes, parents and coaches with real-time data and analysis of potential impact-related head injuries. The Linx IAS weighs about the same as a nickel and is the size of a stick of gum. It can fit easily into a skull cap or headband, allowing it to be worn in any sports environment.

According to a 2013 Institute of Medicine report, up to 3.8 million people a year suffer a sports or recreation related brain injury.

Spotts said BlackBox Biometrics has benefitted from being located in Rochester. The company was formed out of a research project at RIT’s Venture Creations Incubator. Access to the academic and research labs was essential. In addition, the company has drawn top talent from the local college campuses.