A Fitbit for your mouth: The ORB Smartguard’s innovative design
ORB Smartguard is a high-tech, custom-fit device that is worn in the mouth like a traditional mouthguard but can also track a variety of health and fitness metrics. This includes heart rate, movement, and head impact, amongst other things.
The gadget is a completely different take on the concept of wearable technology than we’ve seen before. The mouthguard is intended to be worn during sports or other physical activities and provide athletes, coaches, and trainers with valuable information in order to improve performance and reduce the risk of injury.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
The mouth is actually a great location for tracking heart rate and other metrics due to its proximity to the carotid artery, which carries blood from the heart to the brain. This enables precise monitoring of the heart rate and other vital signs.
Additionally, because the mouthguard is worn inside the mouth, it can detect small movements and vibrations that other types of sensors may not be able to detect. This information can be used for tracking head impact, which is important for athletes as it can help detect and prevent concussions or other head injuries.
The gadget comes from a London-based startup called ORB Innovations. Some five years in the making, ORB Smartguard is specifically designed for contact and combat sports such as boxing, field hockey, rugby, and others. Since 2019, the company has been testing with professional sports teams such as the Rugby Football League, Allianz Premier 15s, and RFU Championship.
Tracks 20 different metrics
As its name implies, ORB Smartguard is, first and foremost, a mouth guard. In that regard, it was created using the same high-quality EVA plastic that is used in regular mouthguards.
Place it in your mouth, and it will track twenty different performance and activity metrics from there. This includes data on heart rate, average heart rate, heart rate zones, maximum and minimum heart rate, head impact exposure, steps, distance, movement intensity, active calories, and other factors. All of this can help you assess how hard you should push yourself during training to prepare for match intensity.
GPS is not used by the gadget. But you can connect ORB Smartguard to third-party GPS trackers that accept Bluetooth connections.
Information is stored directly on the device, so you can leave your phone behind. Post exercise sync the data with the ORB App for detailed info, trends and insights. The ORB App can even be used to monitor your heart rate in real-time.
Something that is unique to this wearable is an impact exposure breakdown. This gives you an overview of how the head impacts you experience during training change from session to session. If you enjoy combat sports, use this feature to help you identify weak points in your defence.
In 2022, the company turned Kickstarter to raise funds for production. Pre-orders for those that have not backed the campaign are expected to start in the next few weeks. The first customers will get their ORB Smartguard in early March.
ORB Smartguard will be available for £120 at launch, but there will be a special limited offer where you can get one for only £80. This type of pricing sounds pretty reasonable given all of the metrics the device monitors.
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