“When people call, we don’t have to tell them ‘no’ anymore”
If you’ve seen those clever self-tightening golf shoes with the dial on the back, or the ski boots with dials rather than those damned clips, you’ll know Boa Technology Inc. The company’s quick-action lacing system tightens with the turn of a dial and seems to be finding a home in applications beyond sport. In fact, to go full circle, it appears that the technology may be heading to medical devices world, the irony being that company boss Gary Hammerslag’s original idea for the device came from observing the way angioplasty catheters are fed using a wheel system.
Gary Hammerslag launched Boa in 1998 in Steamboat Springs after he wanted a way to tie snowboarding boots without having to tug on laces that never seemed to tighten just right. He developed his proprietary wheel system that tightens stainless steel wire laces by turning a knob.
Back to medical devices
There was obvious utility for the technology in medical devices. According to Medical Design technology, “for years, medical companies wanted to use the system for items needing an adjustable fit, like wrist and knee braces.”
Last year Boa formed a medical division to exploit these opportunities in conjunction with partner companies including Futuro, DeRoyal and Exos, and there now exists a range of orthopedic braces, ankle braces, knee braces and other products.
“When people call, we don’t have to tell them ‘no’ anymore,” Hammerslag said of the medical companies.
“The medical division generated 5 percent of Boa’s sales in 2011,” said Jimmy Capra, head of Boa’s medical division. Capra expects the division’s revenue to at least quadruple in 2012 and make up 10 percent of Boa’s growing overall sales.
Source: Medical Design Technology