Battle Sight Technologies brings new writing aid to military market
By Jennifer Patterson Lorenzetti
Nick Ripplinger is a native of Miamisburg who served seven years in the Army. When what he calls a “bad day in Iraq” led to his medical retirement he continued his support of the military by taking a job in the defense industry.
Ripplinger has never been afraid of hard work. While on active duty, he received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and he is a bestselling author with his book Front Line Leadership. For a time, he even took a warehouse job to support his family. His big break, however, came just last year when he called Scott Koorndyk, president of the Entrepreneurs Center, and introduced his latest idea.
This product is called the MARC IR, with MARC an acronym for Marking Appliance Reusable Chemiluminescent. This pressure-activated “pen” brings a glowstick-type reaction to a writing instrument. The product is available in visible and infrared spectrums. The infrared version creates markings that are invisible in low and no light, but which can be seen with night-vision goggles. This has obvious military uses when troops need to leave messages or information that the enemy cannot see.
After 2017, when the product was licensed for sale, things began to move quickly for Ripplinger and his business partner, Bennet Tanton. In 2018, the product made its special operations command debut. Ripplinger also signed a cooperative research and development agreement, which allows a government agency and a private company to work together on research and development. In this case, the agreement assures Battle Sight three more years of support from the Air Force. He also works closely with the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate. Additionally, the company has received support from Wright State and the University of Dayton.
This rapid progress has made a lot of changes in Ripplinger’s business very quickly. In February of this year Ripplinger says he “quit his day job” and moved Battle Sight into the Entrepreneurs Center to get its official start. The company grew so quickly he moved it into its own manufacturing center in May.
The growth doesn’t stop there, however. “We’re in the process of scaling up to support the military and first responders,” Ripplinger says. He also notes that the product has potential nonmilitary applications as a novelty toy for children, since it can be made with a variety of dyes not limited to infrared.
When asked about how Battle Sight Technologies fits into Dayton’s history of development of new technologies, Ripplinger says this is a continuation of many decades of invention that some may have forgotten over time. “We still have all the innovation; we’re just not good at telling our story,” he says. With the chemiluminescent marker from Battle Sight communication may have gotten just a bit easier.