Cipher Skin Inc., a Colorado-based data technology startup, has been awarded a $50,000 grant by the U.S. Department of Defense, as part of the first phase of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. This highly competitive program supports scientific excellence and technological innovation and encourages small businesses to engage in federal research & development that has great potential for commercialization.
From the beginning, Cipher Skin had the U.S. Special Operations Command’s attention. U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) have a strong interest in Cipher Skin’s first human performance product application – the BioSleeve – that was recently introduced into the market, as well as the tremendous potential of the core technology.
The BioSleeve is a smart compression sleeve that enables the users to visualize, via a software application called the Digital Mirror, real-time complex motion of their arms and knees in three dimensions, providing key measurements such as range of motion and joint angular velocity. All data is automatically stored and managed in the Digital Mirror, for monitoring progress over time. Physical therapists and trainers can now rely on fully automated range of motion tests and data management, with the guarantee of highly precise, objective data.
Craig Weller – Cipher Skin’s Co-Founder, a former member of USN Special Operations and now a renowned performance trainer – said: “The BioSleeve is the first in a range of products aimed at decoding and enhancing human performance through garments. On top of measuring complete range of motion, it will soon be able to monitor heart rate and 02 saturation, unlocking the complex physiological processes of the body. There is no need for cameras or other bulky equipment – it’s simply clothing. This is definitely a critical tool for our soldiers, from rehab to in-the-field performance.”
The secret behind this incredible technology? A patented conductive grid that can be embedded into any garment and integrated with a diverse array of sensors. This unique flexible lattice enables the sensors to conform around the whole body for more accurate and comprehensive measurements.
Weller specifies: “With 77% of all injuries within the SOF community being preventable musculoskeletal injuries, the interest from the SOCOM has been extraordinary so far. Also, the ability to monitor variations in 02 saturation and heart rate, through garments only, in real performance environments – opens up a world of applications for the military. One of them is hypoxia prevention for parachutists, pilots and aircrew, a common issue that our military personnel are facing today.”
In partnership with the U.S. Government, Cipher Skin will also be working on the design of smart leggings as well as a shirt for full-body motion capture and biometric monitoring.
Following their success in phase 1, Cipher Skin is already in the race for phase 2 – which will enable more funding for the development of the technology and, eventually, the full commercialization of the final product.
Weller is delighted about the promising partnership: “We feel honored by this unique opportunity to help improve the safety and performance of our warfighters.”
The total addressable market size for Cipher Skin’s technology is projected to reach $700 billion by 2028. Riding on a wave of success, the company, whose team doubled in size over the past six months, is planning on tripling its staff by the fourth quarter of 2020.