Interactive clothing developed in Israel can enhance learning
Tropx’s sports line integrates sensors to analyze vital signs and performance. This provides information on how to increase exercise routines and avoid injury.
By Diana Bletter
Salai Haim Raveh is a Haifa-based krav maga and fitness instructor who breaks down the way athletes train.
His new startup Tropx designs innovative sportswear with built-in sensors connected to an app that can improve performance and prevent injuries.
Rave, 30, was a physical training instructor in the Israel Defense Forces and a graduate of the Wingate Institute of Physical Education and Sports.
For 12 years, he worked as a personal trainer, but even though he closely watched his clients as they worked out, he realized that they didn’t know what was going on in their muscles, joints and tendons.
So he went to study mechanical and biomechanical engineering at ORT-Braude.
While there, he met Dekel Nadaf, another mechanical engineering student. In addition to their regular courses, they studied entrepreneurship together.
“I had the idea of sensors in sportswear and Nadaf worked on the concept. I saw the need to connect what was happening in people’s bodies to the exercises they were doing in the gym.”
“The body is very complex. I was looking to develop a system to help people train and maximize their performance,” Raveh told ISRAEL21c in Spanish.
Tropx sensors include algorithms to analyze training performance. They measure people’s heart and breathing rates and lactic acid levels during their exercise.
If movements are wrong, real-time imaging allows users to correct their movements based on individual feedback.
The information is also evaluated based on each athlete’s weaknesses and athletic goals.
For its initial research and development, Raveh received funding from Ben Gurion University’s Cactus Capital, the Israel Innovation Authority and Maccabi Haifa Carmel, Israel’s largest sports association, which has 16 branches across the country.
He also participated in the 8200 IMPACT acceleration program for Israeli technology startups that aim to solve significant social and environmental problems through advanced technologies.
Then, in 2020, Rave founded Tropx with a small group of sports enthusiasts and engineers, including his childhood friend Gal Abir, who grew up with him in the same building in Haifa.
“Gal graduated with a dual degree in math and computer science from the Technion, so she knew she was smart and responsible,” Rave said. And appointed him as Chief Technology Officer.
Waterproof and made for travel
Raveh’s goal is to produce high-performance sportswear with sensors that transmit information to the wearer as well as coaches and trainers.
“A coach watching football practice will get an alert that player 8 is in danger of a pulled hamstring,” he said.
The coach can then send the player to a gym where he can train not to build muscle but to become a better soccer player on the field of play.
There are other sports clothes that already have camera monitors, but you can’t run or swim with them.
Raveh’s sensors will soon be waterproof and made for travel.
“It’s a holistic approach to improving the performance of athletes in all kinds of sports,” Raveh said, adding that Tropx will test its technology on Maccabi athletes until the end of 2023.
Abir explained that the company’s goal is to develop algorithms for more than a hundred different exercises. Research and development is being conducted under the guidance of Professor Ella Bean, Head of Sports Therapy at Ono Academic College; and Hayim Makabee, software developer.
Rave located his office near the port of Haifa because, he said, “it has become a northern hub for new businesses.”
He is the first person in his family to become an entrepreneur.
It’s hard not to notice his muscles. He works hard in the gym and his priority is to stay in shape. “I have to look like a coach. My body is like my calling card,” Rave said.
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