One of the biggest martial arts organizations in the USA. The client’s academies have been providing training programs and services to thousands of members worldwide for almost forty years.
Softeq conducted a bootcamp for the client to systemize market data, understand the target audience, and identify business opportunities. The bootcamp resulted in an idea of an interactive punching bag paired with an engaging martial arts game. The software and hardware combo would allow children to master kicking techniques in an innovative and exciting way.
Together with the client, we worked out the most important requirements.
The punching bag had to have:
The game needed to have a fun and simple gameplay.
We built a punching bag prototype according to the requirements and developed a ‘Guitar Hero” like game. The bag is used as a joystick—upon kicking it at the right time and right spot, it sends signals to a connected PC with a pre-installed game. The game character attacks its opponent and the player gets reward points.
The bag is a hexagon cylinder with three front active sides and three back sides used for highlighting user interaction.
Each front side has three zones for punches—24, 44, and 64 inches above the ground—nine in total. Each zone is equipped with sensors, lighting, and speakers:
Back sides are equipped with LED lighting.
The punching bag connects via USB to a PC with a fighting game on it. The PC is, in turn, connected to a TV set via HDMI. Thus, the player can follow their progress on a big screen.
We involved the Softeq gaming development department—“zGames”— to design a fighting game.
The game is closely tied to the music. All events in the game are synchronized with the rhythm of the musical composition. Actions made by the player during the game will affect the music.
The player's task is to kick the punching bag at the right moment. The avatar repeats all of the player's kicks at attacking the enemy.
Each kick is tied to the beat of the music and accompanied by vivid visual effects.
The fight always ends with the player winning when the music track ends. The player sees their statistics at the end of each fight. Top-30 high scores are highlighted.
We arranged for the client to participate in an Expo during a local martial arts contest. They set up a stand with two smart punch bag samples for the attendees to try out. The client was able to test the solution under real conditions and gather valuable user feedback.
Softeq created, manufactured, and delivered prototypes of a smart punching bag along with a desktop game. The hardware and software were accompanied by a product vision, which includes several monetization models and multiple user scenarios. The client is currently testing the solution to understand the market potential.