SportTechie – Sept. 17, 2018 (MENLO PARK, CA) The gray slab in front of me is nondescript, like a scale with no numbers. It seems like no more than just a floor tile. Yet after I jumped and balanced on the elevated surface a few times, I learned from data extracted from sensors beneath how fit I am: I’m in pretty good shape—but also a bit inflexible, unbalanced, and at mild risk for an Achilles injury.
On a recent morning in an office in midtown New York City, Sparta Science invited a few reporters to test out the company’s assessment technology. Sparta uses information gleaned from the Bertec force plate, which measured my dynamic movements 1,000 times per second in three directions as I did standing jumps and then took turns balancing on each leg while closing my eyes for 20 seconds. (The latter task sounds simple but was actually quite humbling.) This wealth of data is then run through Sparta Science’s advanced algorithms and extensive database to gauge both my physical performance and injury risk.
The founder and CEO, Dr. Phil Wagner, guided me through the tests, starting with four standing jumps. Data from these was used to calculate the Sparta Platform’s signature readings for Load, Explode, and Drive. (Load is a measure of how a person’s body prepares to jump, Explode analyzes how the person initially creates upwards force, and Drive looks at how they sustain that force.)