The Alpha Loft, located in the Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center (ECenter), was turned into a networking space Thursday night as part of the Wildcatalyst Seminar Series.
UNH professor and the department of kinesiology Chair Erik Swartz and UNH alumnus Dave Arnold, spoke at the event and shared with the attendees their inventions and collaborative efforts.
The series of events was formerly known as the Catalyst Seminar Series and is hosted by UNH Innovation each month of the academic year. These events are held in order to promote networking and a meeting space for innovators, entrepreneurs and service providers. Those who attend the seminars are encouraged to ask questions and share their own experiences in their respective fields.
Following the theme of “A Conversation about…” last Thursday’s networking event was specifically dedicated to talking about technology.
The hour-long event entailed a presentation of the two men’s innovations and a look into their collaboration with each other. The presentation was followed by a brief question and answer session and an opportunity to network afterwards with snacks and alcoholic beverages for those over the age of 21.
Swartz spoke of his invention “HuTT,” a helmet-less tackling program for football teams that teaches players to tackle properly and safely. Swartz explained that the sport of football is in a concussion crisis due to players learning to tackle with their heads. He hypothesized that training the players without helmets would instill the skill through the repition of moves and actions involving the vulnerability of the head. Upon explaining HuTT, Swartz explained how Arnold’s company, Retrieve, helped him with his own technology.
Retrieve is what Arnold calls a professional communication platform that allows for businesses to communicate their information. Retrieve’s website reads, “We provide the tools that allow you to organize your videos, pictures, text and documents into an easily consumable package.”
Arnold compared his platform to a professional YouTube in terms of content and iTunes in terms of Retrieve’s business model.
“We think this is the next evolution of being able to deliver asynchronous text,” Arnold said.
E-books, iTunes, YouTube and apps in general were all sources that Arnold looked at while developing and improving his own vision for Retrieve.
Local New Hampshire businesses and companies such as Pats Peak, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Merriam Vineyards and even HuTT are currently using Retrieve’s services.
Swartz explained how coaching football and any sport in general carries with it the fact that coaches often times gather information and new techniques through conversations and amateur videos found online, but can sometimes lack actual backed up research, which is why HuTT is so different and is able to benefit from Retrieve’s services.
Retrieve was able to bring their cameras to record the players that were participating in Swartz’ research, they would shoot the helmet-less tackling using multiple angels in order to provide narration using UNH Football’s manual to post on their platform.
Users of the app are then able to communicate with Swartz and record themselves executing the drill. They then send it to Swartz, who reviews it for accuracy and safety and send it back to the player with corrections. This allows for “oversight,” according to Swartz.
“This quality assurance through Retrieve must be done for licensing [certification],” Swartz said. This is done in order for coaches to use HuTT safely, as that is Swartz’ main concern.
At the end of the hour, the event turned from presentation to discussion and audience members asked questions, which included questions about the companies’ long-term plans and accessibility from users.
Arnold called Retrieve “dynamic” because of the simplicity of adding information to each video or virtual book when appropriate and necessary.
“Over time the book gets more intelligent,” he said.