Hykso Punch Trackers -- The Software And Verdict
There are simple “punch counters” available at most boxing clubs that clip onto your gloves and work much like a pedometer, but they are inherently inaccurate because they’ll count almost all arm movements as punches. These basic devices would count jumping jacks as punches, for example. Hykso’s sensors are actually tracking movement, direction, orientation, and motion in space, however, so not only are the total punch counts accurate, but the speed and the type of punch is tracked as well.
The Hykso app shows all of the counts and some stats in real-time. The counters progress on-screen as you’re throwing punches to give live feedback. Jabs are counted separately from power punches (basically, everything but a jab), and the speed of the punches is shown as well. At the end of a session, the data is compiled and graphed to show the total counts and intensity. All of the data from your sessions is rolled up to provide activity tracking over time as well.
Though the Hykso app works well and already provides a good amount of data, we're told there are some interesting possibilities coming in future updates. The Android and iOS apps are slightly different at this point too. Though they both have all of the same major features, there are some additional buttons for navigation, different graphs, and the ability to add photos to sessions available in the iOS version.
Eventually, the Hykso app should present and allow you to analyze more data as features are added, and there's a social component likely coming as well, but we're not sure on the exact timeline. When and if the social component is introduced, users will be able to set goals and compare performance to other people using the devices, including some of the pro boxers that currently work with Hykso. Though social features should be coming directly to the app at some point, for now there is a Facebook community where users have been sharing their data and pitching feature idea to Hykso. There’s even a “10,000 punch” challenge going on at the moment – and no, I haven’t even attempted it yet. Hykso is also working on software it will eventually offer to gyms and boxing clubs to present data for multiple users at once, in real time on secondary screens, similar to what's available at chains like OrangeTheory -- though with an obvious focus on punches, not heart rate. You can see the "Hykso Gym Experience" in action in this video.
Hykso produced roughly 3,000 kits during the initial run of product, which are all accounted for already, but a second wave of product is about to hit if you’re considering taking the plunge. The Hykso Punch Trackers currently sell for $189, which is somewhat pricey in light of other fitness wearables, but the specialized nature Hykso’s Punch Trackers and the focused data they provide somewhat justifies the premium.
The usefulness of Hykso’s Punch Trackers will be apparent to anyone that trains with them. The applications for everyone from professional fighters and trainers to regular folks simply looking to learn more about their workouts are obvious; you can’t quantify improvement without gathering data. Boxing club owners could use the trackers to hold friendly competitions among members or even as an up-sell for members that want to step up their game. Hykso's Punch Trackers could also offer more meaningful data to professional broadcast events, which currently rely only on antiquated manual counting measures and don't provide any actual speed measurements.
If you think Hykso’s Punch Trackers will enhance your training in any way, they may be worth the investment. Although $189 isn't cheap, out of the box, Hykso's Punch Trackers are already useful, and should the company add more features to the app and expose additional analytics, they’ll likely get better over time.