In 2003 Hitmate launched the first smart wireless scoring system for epee that was targeted at club use. To be smart the system must be able to differentiate between body hits and guard hits. This system has proven popular over the years and is still available to buy.
All of the existing smart wireless systems on the market, including the original Epee Hitmate comprise three units, a display unit which either sits on the floor/chair/table and two fencer units which are placed in the breeches pocket. The fencer units detect a hit and communicate to the display unit, which then makes a decision on who is awarded the hit and then displays the result.
In late 2021 we were about to launch our new three unit smart wireless system, but then decided to cancel it. Several other companies had launched three unit smart wireless systems and we felt that our product didn't offer anything different.
Early in 2022 we decided to focus on developing a radically new smart wireless system comprising only two units. These would plug directly into the sword and eliminate both the display unit, which is expensive but also the body wire.
Early in 2023 we completed extensive field testing at several clubs of our new system. We are now proud to announce our new system called Completely Wireless Epee (CWE), which comprises just two units called Plugins. The two Plugins are identical but are allocated as either red or green during the pairing process.
The Plugins communicate directly with each other to make a decision on who is awarded the hit. The results are displayed on each Plugin, which contain high brightness red and green LEDs and a buzzer.
The Plugins use sophisticated software to distinguish between body, guard and metal piste hits even at high levels of sweat and without the need to calibrate at the start of each fight.
The Plugins also perform a basic diagnostic check of the epee when it is plugged in and auto shut down when it is removed.
For those needing a traditional display box for referees and spectators, we also have a Repeater unit which listens to the communication between the two Plugins and displays the same result. The Repeater can be hand held or kept in the transparent storage case and placed on the floor. The Repeater is a dumb unit and has no input on the decision making process. The Repeater can be switched off without affecting the performance of the two Plugins.
Wireless scoring systems including CWE require epees to be maintained to a higher standard than for traditional wired scoring systems. This is simply down to the technology required to eliminate the cable which traditionally connects the fencer to the scoring box via the spool. To help fencers and club armourers maintain epees to a higher standard and therefore give the fencer the best wireless experience, Hitmate has produced the Advanced Epee Analyser (AEA), which is a simple to use unit testing all features of the epee ensuring it is in perfect condition at the start of each session.