The commercial space sector continues to expand and likewise commercial applications for space-based technology.
Now comes word that NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland has signed its first licensing agreement via a program to place the space agency’s patented technology in the hands of private startups. Those young companies will apply the breakthrough technology to products and processes in the commercial marketplace.
In a licensing agreement announced April 25, AirFlare LLC of Nashville, Tenn., will produce portable metabolic-analysis sensors for use in the health and fitness market.
“This agreement makes AirFlare the go-to source for the public to access NASA technology in the fitness market,” the space agency said.
The startup licensing initiative is part of NASA’s Technology Transfer Program. There is no upfront cost to start-up companies to acquire licensing rights from more than 1,200 NASA-patented NASA technologies, including cutting-edge materials and coatings, sensors, instrumentation and aeronautics technologies.
The portable metabolic-analysis unit licensed by AirFlare was designed to give spaceflight crews the ability to move around their crafts while being monitored.
“It is always exciting to see the technology the center has invented being transformed into economic and business opportunities,” said Kim Dalgleish-Miller, chief of Glenn’s Technology Transfer Office.
AirFlare will use the licensed technology to yield laboratory-grade biometric data for athletes, fitness enthusiasts and dieters.
“For decades, high quality metabolic data has been out of reach for most dieters and recreational athletes,” AirFlare chief Daniel Lawhon said. “We are incredibly excited to be working with NASA to give people more control of their health and fitness.”
AirFlare’s monitoring devices will be wearable, so users can monitor metabolic and cardiovascular data while training or performing other activities.