eSports, a type of video game competition, has become a global phenomenon with a large, enthusiastic fan base. Millions of people travel around the world to watch eSports, tournaments, rivaling the popularity of traditional sports. According to Forbes Magazine, the e-Sports market is on track to exceed $900 million in revenue in 2018.
eSports creates a more personal connection between the fan and eSport athletes. Irradiance, a Hardware Accelerator Team, seeks to deepen this connection by creating smart clothing that allows both players and fans to visualize the stresses on a competitor for evaluation and enhancement.
Team members Neal Reynolds, Lina Sanchez Botero, Eric Beaudette, and Barak Cohen met while participating in a Cornell University fashion show, where they first developed their smart clothing idea. The next step was for the team to focus on creating clothing specifically for eSports gamers.
“There’s a level of connectedness in eSports that you don’t see in traditional sports, especially between fans and athletes. eSports have become universal,” said Reynolds.
Irradiance research has shown there is a correlation between in-game events and stressors on the body of the player. They believe that by designing smart clothes that can measure both the health and performance of the players, there will be a large customer market for their product. The clothing will improve the players breathing, heart rate, stress level, and responses to stimuli. As a result the players will enhance their gaming skills and track their progress from game to game.
During Rev’s Hardware Accelerator, Irradiance learned how the different aspects of a business operate and developed a complete prototype in the Rev lab. They’ve enjoyed receiving tips and advice from the Rev entrepreneurs-in-residence and having lab space readily available to work on their prototype.
“Since our team started attending the Hardware Accelerator, we realized how important the customer discovery process really is and understanding what it means to create a product of value to the customers,” said Beaudette.
Irradiance recently won the Upstyle Award competition for innovation in science, fashion, and technology. After the Hardware Accelerator, they hope to continue to make different prototypes and eventually move to a major city to be closer to their gaming audience.
Irradiance will present their prototype and progress with their business plans on August 9th, 2018 at Rev’s Hardware Accelerator Demo Day.