Reflexion Interactive Technologies, founded by Penn State junior Matt Roda, has been nominated by Engadget as one of the best startups of the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. Reflexion Interactive’s “Reflexion Edge” device is a foldable, lightweight panel that displays lights the user touches to gauge their response times and other brain functions to improve performance and check for a concussion.
“It’s kind of like playing Whack-A-Mole. The next light goes on as soon as you touch the previous one, so it’s measuring how fast you are going over a set period of time,” Roda explained to Penn State News. By engaging athletes with this gamified test, the Edge can improve their performance through training in the same way athlete’s measure deadlift and bench press, while simultaneously collecting a dynamic baseline of data on brain health for the athletic trainer. No other concussion test is able to equally involve the athletes.
The Reflexion Edge came out of Roda’s desire for a more thorough and effective concussion test on the sidelines for high school sports. Roda suffered a concussion in 2014, but was cleared to play by the coaches on the sideline when he accurately answered what year it was, who the president was and where he was. After missing months of school due to the concussion, Roda and two high school friends began by looking a better concussion test, but has since grown into something much more that serves the real problem that athletic trainers, coaches and athletes face.
“It was no longer just stories in the newspapers about NFL guys or something like that—it was much more real to me,” Roda told The Daily Collegian. “There are a lot of people who have very long lasting effects from what seemed like oh just a simple concussion.”
Roda had previously competed in the 2015 and 2017 PennTAP Inc U. competition, which culminates in a “Shark Tank” style show called “The Investment.” On the show Penn State student entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of experts and, when Roda won in 2017, he walked away with $15,000 in prize money.
In February he shared his story with legislators in Harrisburg during Invent Penn State Day. April 19th he will pitch along with this year’s Inc U winners at the Invent Penn State Venture and IP Conference.