breaking news

Local company has invisible battlefield writing device you can’t see

Published: Sunday, April 29, 2018 @ 9:41 AM

Nicholas Ripplinger, president of Battle Sight Technologies LLC, holding the implement that can leave writing and marks visible only to warfighters and first-responders who have certain night vision goggles. Battle Sight last week won a Soin Award for Innovation and is already bringing in revenue from customers who value the company’s technology. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
Thomas Gnau/Staff
Nicholas Ripplinger, president of Battle Sight Technologies LLC, holding the implement that can leave writing and marks visible only to warfighters and first-responders who have certain night vision goggles. Battle Sight last week won a Soin Award for Innovation and is already bringing in revenue from customers who value the company’s technology. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF(Thomas Gnau/Staff)

Nicholas Ripplinger’s company is seeing revenue after a recent trade show and just won $25,000 in one of the Dayton area’s chief awards recognizing entrepreneurial ingenuity.

It has been that kind of week for Ripplinger, president of Dayton-based Battle Sight Technologies.

“This is like every entrepreneur’s dream,” he said.

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Battle Sight Technologies — a start-up less than one year old that is developing a chemiluminescent writing device — was named the 2018 Soin Award for Innovation winner, the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce’s top award. .

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Battle Sight Technologies produces a reusable glow stick that warfighters and emergency responders can write with, said Ripplinger, who founded Battle Sight with partner Bennett Tanton, a Syracuse, N.Y. resident

The idea is simple: As soldiers or first-responders infiltrate or investigate a house or an area, they can leave a mark or slash on a wall or door to signify they have checked that room, Ripplinger said. They can leave a second mark or slash to show that they have, for example, removed all computers or weapons from the room.

The marks are invisible to people without night vision equipment.

Ripplinger — 31 and a Miamisburg native — knows something of the need for this kind of product. He’s a former U.S. Army soldier and non-commissioned officer with command experience. He holds a B.S. in technical management as well as an M.B.A.

“You kick in the door,” he said. “Kill or capture whomever you need to kill or capture. And leave a glow stick (mark) to show, hey, this room has been checked for people. It’s clear, it’s safe to go in.”

When writing with the product — which Battle Sight calls the “MARC IR” — users leave a very thin layer of wax that is not visible. A series of micro-capsules break when a user writes with them. The chemicals inside react with the chemicals in the wax, and that’s what causes an infrared glowing reaction.

The marks are visible exclusively to military, law enforcement and emergency management agencies using night vision.

Users can write word messages — “Meet me on the first floor for a cappuccino,” for example. But Ripplinger is thinking more along the lines of Xs or slashes.

“You just mark the door with a slash,” he said.

The technology came to Battle Sight through the Technology Acceleration Project, which is the Dayton Entrepreneur Center’s push to transfer technology from research to market.

The program connects technological advances discovered by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) with for-profit teams equipped to commercialize the ideas.

Battle Sight’s connection with AFRL and other business supporters in the Dayton region has been beneficial to getting the business off the ground, Ripplinger said.

They hope to anchor key manufacturing of the glow sticks and wax in Southwestern Ohio, he said.

“We’re trying to keep as much of the manufacturing as possible in Dayton,” Ripplinger said. “That’s been one of our goals. I don’t think we can ask the community for support and then move to Tennessee or New York or anywhere else.”

Battle Sight Technologies’ Dayton Chamber of Commerce win earns the company a $25,000 prize and an array of marketing opportunities thanks to support from Soin LLC, Cox Digital Marketing and CareWorks.

More changes are ahead for Ripplinger and Battle Sight. He was scheduled to be in New York Saturday for a Department of Defense technology transfer showcase, and he’ll be moving into The Entrepreneurs Center in Dayton in about two weeks.

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