Combat sports like boxing, wrestling and mixed martial arts, by definition, have a high potential of harming the head and brain. Because of this, in 1985, the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board (NJSACB) was created to, “protect the safety and well-being of all participants and promote the public confidence and trust in the regulatory process and conduct of public boxing and other combative sport.” This month, the New Jersey State government approved the testing of a new technology that hopes to make combat sports, well, less combative. Specifically, NJSACB , which sets the athletic parameters in a state that is home to such combat sports locations as Atlantic City and the Prudential Center, approved the testing of EyeGuide Focus.
EyeGuide Focus, “uses a camera [attached to a headset] to record the action of the athlete’s eyes as they track a cursor that makes a sideways figure 8 on a computer screen.” Because it is able to track the eye 60 times a second, according to the manufacturer, EyeGuide can detect concussions in only 10 seconds.
This past Saturday, February 18, the eye technology was tested at the Cage Fury Fighting Championships at The Borgata in Atlantic City. As of February 23, the results of these tests are not available for public view. On May 20, EyeGuide will again be tested at the Top Rank WBC/WBO Junior Welterweight Championship in Newark.*
* Even though the publicity of this device focuses on the use of EyeGuide Focus in combat sports, EyeGuide has larger applications. According to the manufacturer, the EyeGuide Focus is affordable, so that it can be purchased for use in a wide variety of settings, from MMA matches to high school sports games (the EyeGuide website has the product listed for purchase at $9,999).