Innovative Ideas: The LightSpeed and The Link

Special Report Part 2

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“Some days I feel like a real runner out there,” said Mimi Stedner.

About a year ago Stender had reconstructive surgery to repair a torn ACL.

“My goal originally through physical therapy was to get back on the snow this ski season,” said Stedner.

To speed up the recovery she decided to try the LightSpeed, a body weight support system designed to lift 20 to 40 pounds of weight off you while running.

“I was out walking and doing normal activity much sooner than I otherwise would have been because I was able to get my motion going by using the LightSpeed,” said Stedner.

With custom shorts or a lift belt attachment, “It lifts you from your hip joints and it’s almost like you have nothing on you don’t even feel it,” physical therapist, LightSpeed creator and Duluth native Malcolm Macaulay said.

He got the idea to build the physical rehabilitation and performance training tool after working with a patient who needed help getting back running.

“I was frustrated with what was out there,” said Macaulay. “My overall goal with this is to get a system that would lift easily from the hip joint so that the legs could still have free motion, was relatively inexpensive, would work with existing treadmills,” said Macaulay.

Macaulay believes patients and athletes can decrease the impact force of running by 20 percent and recover 30 percent faster.

“It gives the bones, it gives the tissue time to build up to remodel and get stronger,” said Macaulay.

Stedner is a living testament.

“It’s been fantastic, it’s a verb in my world,” said Stedner. “I LightSpeed and I run on pavement.”

Inside the old post office in Superior, a small but highly skilled crew is working on what some believe is the evolution of personal data and digital storage.

“We went through and looked at every single thing that’s wrong with the market today and said we need to build something that’s not only will work for today but will work for you 10 years from now,” Link creator Coy Christmas said.

They created the Link, a wristband that can hold up to a terabyte of data.

“We just figured, ‘hey, you know because of connectivity issues it would be nice to have something that’s on you,'” said Christmas.

Users will no longer have to store files, videos, photos, music and more on their hard drives and computers.

Those things would all go on the Link and be accessed through an app.

“Because of the fact that you continuously change devices, people change phones every single year, they buy more storage every single year so what we’ve done is kind of eliminated that aspect of it,” said Christmas.

What makes the device so unique is the fact that it’s wireless, using WiFi to transmit information at 1,300 megabits per second.

“With wireless information you’re never gonna go anywhere,” said Christmas. “It’s never going to be outdated. Wireless will always be here it will just become more efficient more effective.”

Three thousand of the links will be released this year.

Even the big wigs are lining up to get one.

“I feel pretty good about it,” said Christmas. “We have a lot of very large companies that have given us phone calls.”

The Link is fairly small in size, but Christmas believes in due time it will be too big handle.

“We’ll have some larger company come in buy it from us,” said Christmas. “That’s where I see it in five years. It’s too big of a deal.”

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