[captionpix imgsrc=”https://www.fflunleashed.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/NEXUS3-1024×630.jpg” captiontext=”Nexus Shooting in Davie, Florida created proprietary technology that sets the stage for the future of both recreational shooting as well as military and law enforcement training. photo courtesy: www.NexusShooting.com”]When Dr. Bernard Hsiao started shooting, he didn’t know he would become an innovator.
“I started shooting as a hobby in 2008,” he said. “President Obama had just been elected, and there was a possibility that he was going to try to take away everyone’s guns. I decided to see what shooting is like before I lost the opportunity to try it.”
Soon Hsiao was shooting about a thousand rounds a week.
“Then I noticed I was getting short of breath,” he said. “Being a physician, I ran a bunch of tests on myself, and couldn’t find anything.” Then he realized his shortness of breath coincided with trips to the range, and decided that if he was going to continue shooting, he wanted to shoot at a world class facility with good ventilation. So he, his brother Michael Hsiao, and Christopher Longsworth decided to build a range that would be a place they wanted to shoot.
“Michael is from a pure science background and is very heavy into technology,” Hsiao said. “Chris is a real estate developer and general contractor. It’s a very interesting partnership, because I’m the shooter, Michael is the technology guy, and Chris is the construction guy.”
Longsworth designed and built a $15 million facility in Davie, Florida (southwest of Fort Lauderdale) and Michael Hsiao worked on the technology.
“On the Nexus lanes, we have a proprietary electronic targeting live fire computerized system,” Hsiao said. “The shooter uses his own gun, with real ammunition in it, and shoots at a video screen. The computer detects the hits, and analyzes and scores the targets. We can project any sort of video scenario on a screen. We have moving targets, simulated steel, games like shooting galleries, and we have one where you defend the Earth from asteroids that are crashing toward it. We can do zombies or video scenarios for law enforcement.”
This is all controlled by a touch screen at the shooting position.
“You have your own digital account where you can keep track of your scores,” Hsiao said. “The system analyzes every shot you take. It tells you how far your shot was away from the center of the target, what your group size was, and your mean point of impact. Then it guides you to become a better shooter. It will tell you if you’re anticipating the recoil and how to fix it.”
The digital account maintains a database over time, so shooters can see how they improve and what they need to work on.
“The system can give you a shot-by-shot e-mail,” Hsiao said. “It will also e-mail you a picture of the target.”
The Nexus Shooting Range has a total of 40 shooting lanes, Hsiao said.
“Twenty-two are the Nexus lanes, and 18 are traditional,” he said. “Paper targets are good for building your fundamental skills, but they’re not as engaging or as much fun.”
The partners also make customer service a priority.
“We have greeters at the door, and we cater very specifically to groups who traditionally have not come into a gun store because of the intimidation factor,” Hsiao said. “We cater very heavily to women shooters and to youth. We have five different women’s groups that shoot exclusively with us, because we offer that welcoming experience.”
The range has been so successful, Hsiao said, the owners have plans to expand.
“We hope this is the first of a nationwide chain of ranges,” he said. “We’ll be holding onto the technology; we have no plans to market it or sell it. We’re in several discussions, and we’re actually seeking out ranges. We’re looking at both converting existing ranges and building new from the ground up.”