If you've ever wondered where to get body armor for full contact martial arts combat, wonder no more.
An Australian company is on a mission to create a new combat sport pairing masters from different disciplines against each other, and they've built high tech armor for the occasion.
The armor from Unified Weapon Master (UWM) has layers of shock-absorbing materials, biometric sensors, a cooling system, and a helmet camera. That last feature is less about safety, and more about giving the audience a breathtaking view of the fight. Justin Forsell, one of the founders, says their vision is to facilitate "real fighting, real weapons, full force, very few rules, high levels of safety and with science judging the outcome."
Forsell, along with fellow founders David Pysden and Samantha English, came up with the Lorica armor as their solution. And since they all have backgrounds in martial arts, they are highly motivated by the fighter's safety.
How can a person be kept safe while fighting at full force? The armor provides real-time analytics during the fight about what type and level of damage the fighters are experiencing. The analytics are designed to show the stats as if it's a HUD in a video game with a health bar that shows the force of each blow and how many lives the fighters has left.
All of this information will be streamed to the audience watching the fights online, alongside the live stream from the camera on the fighter's helmet. To get any closer, audience members would have to actually suit up.
The Lorica project is on Indiegogo with the goal of raising $100,000 AUD (around $72,000 USD) and as the crowdfunding gig goes, they're offering a ton of perks. Some of the benefits include Google Hangouts, tickets, weapons the supporter could use in the UWM arena, and at the high end of the offers, a custom suit of Lorica armor for a pledge of $1,000,000 AUD. They've reached 42% – that's almost $30,000 USD – funded with 31 days left.
The next question is, how does a TechSpot writer get her hands on this armor for a review?