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Talk about “Blades of Glory.” Ithaca College professor Deborah King is the researcher and developer behind a revolutionary new “smart” blade technology.

The small, lightweight device helps measure the force figure skaters exert on the ice when performing their jumps, spins, and footwork. Insights gained from the device can help figure skaters and their trainers avoid injuries—and perhaps even influence the design of new skating boots.

"The skaters skate really fast, they jump high, but they make it look graceful and elegant. And what’s not obvious, unless you’re there at the rink, is the pounding on the body and the impacts."

Deborah joined with research colleagues at Brigham Young University to develop the product—testing it first on artificial ice with simulated landings, and then on an experienced human skater. The result? A device that weighs about 142 grams—as much as a couple of jumbo eggs—and fits under the boot space of the blade, so no components strike the ice.

The “smart” blade earned coverage on the Discovery Channel’s science show The Daily Planet. Deborah says they plan to continue to refine the device so that in the future it can help prevent injuries.