Two former University of New Brunswick hockey players, Shea Kewin and Tim Priamo, have devised a tiny camera that can be worn by athletes to visualize their performance, and the University of Maine men’s hockey team is interested in the camera.
The U-HWK Show camera was demonstrated on Thursday at UMaine, a day before UMaine and the University of New Brunswick met in an exhibition game at Alfond Arena in Orono.
UMaine players wore the camera, which allows athletes to capture in-game, point-of-view footage.
The camera weighs just 1.2 ounces and is mounted on the front lip of the helmet.
“We have been looking at ways to make hockey players smarter out on the ice,” said Kewin. “We had toyed with a few different ideas and then we saw a camera on a pair of snowboarder goggles. We saw how small it was and decided to try to find something that would apply to hockey players.”
Kewin played in last year’s UNB-Maine exhibition game in Orono and wore one of their prototypes during warm-ups.
“It was the second time I had ever worn it,” he said.
He said it is “very sturdy” and can be used by athletes in any number of sports.
“It gives the the athlete a chance to see the game through their own eyes, analyze mistakes and make improvements in their decision-making,” said Kewin. “In hockey, it can help players spot shooting and passing lanes.”
It is simple to install and is curved to fit on a variety of equipment. It is easily removed so people can charge and download the video.
Kewin said there have been several advances in sports dealing with training methods, nutrition and various other preparatory activities but noted that there were limited options dealing with mental and cognitive training which can decide the outcome of games.
He also said the camera amplifies skill sessions and provides post-play video analysis that can boost a player’s confidence.
U-HWK is launching a kickstarter campaign to raise funds for its first run of manufacturing. It is set to ship in January, and the U-HWK Show will retail at $199. Team purchases will range from $499-$1,075.
Kewin and Priamo played in over 450 Ontario Hockey League (Major Junior) and 200 Canadian college games between them. Priamo also played for the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL.