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Salmon Arm company to have sports tech showcased at high-profile Hula Bowl

Local tech at Hula Bowl

A Salmon Arm company will have its technology showcased at one of the largest college sports events in the U.S.

Armilla Tech provides encrypted coach-to-player play-calling communication.

Its system will be used at the Hula Bowl, Jan. 13 in Orlando, Florida.

The all-star college football game is closely watched by scouts from the NFL, XFL, USFL and CFL. It will be televised on CBS Sports.

Armilla founder and CEO Lance Heron says the system works by sending encrypted messages between a tablet in the coach or play co-ordinator's hands to wristbands worn by players on the field.

Heron, who previously worked in surveillance technology with the Royal Canadian Air Force and in law enforcement, founded the company in 2020 after a severe injury sidelined his career.

He began coaching football, progressing from high school to college and pro levels internationally.

Heron says he "woke up one day with the idea for the Armilla Communication Device in his head."

The Armilla technology is in use by more than 70 NCAA football and baseball teams across the U.S., and the Hula Bowl could be the company's next big break as NFL coaches will be using it at the game.

The technology replaces signaling, yelling play calls, or running someone to the huddle and also prevents sign stealing.

It has the added benefit of allowing deaf and hard-of-hearing athletes to further their sports careers.

It also allows coaches to quickly add and edit plays from the sideline or dugout, between innings or at halftime.

Heron hopes to one day see his product used in the NFL and has been invited to display it at the NFL combine in February.

He's currently working on a next generation model that will be smaller, based off feedback from use in the field.

Heron's co-founder and company president Gerhard De Beer is a former NFL player with the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, and Indianapolis Colts with a degree in economy and industry.

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