Football safety has in recent years centered around concussion discussion. That's why so many studies are being conducted, new technologies are being developed and rule changes are being made to evaluate and reduce the number of concussed players in the sport.
Some of the latest technology from Reebok and mc10 for just this purpose is a scull-cap that would indicate when an athlete had taken a potentially dangerous hit to the head.
Reebok and mc10's CheckLight fits underneath a variety of helmets, meaning it wouldn't need to be tailored for a specific sport. (Image: Engadget)
CheckLight is not the first impact sensor to be developed for athletes, but Engadget, which got to talk about the technology with Isaiah Kacyvenski, mc10's director of licensing and business development who is also a former NFL player, reported on the design elements that set it apart:
First, its flexible design measures the impact on a wearer's head, as opposed to the impact on a helmet, which -- according to Kacyvenski -- means that the data it provides is more relevant and accurate than competing systems. And, it means that the CheckLight can be used with multiple helmets.
CheckLight's second value proposition lies is its ability to provide simple, actionable information to both athletes and medical personnel. The simplicity of its yellow light/red light warning cues makes it easy to understand by the players themselves which removes the pride and shame factor that prevents many players from reporting concussion symptoms. That may be where the real genius of the CheckLight lies -- by giving players a means to easily see when a teammate may have a concussion, they police each other. This addresses what may be the biggest difficulty in diagnosing concussions: the failure to report symptoms. CheckLight does the reporting for you, thereby removing the human element from the equation.
This sensor is flexible and bends within the cloth cap around the athlete's head. (Image: Engadget)
Engadget wasn't able to get out of Kacyvenski just how much the impact sensing cap would cost, but does report that it's designed for a range of players -- everyone from the professional to peewee -- and that it would be priced comparable to other sports equipment. CheckLight is also designed to work with any sport that may need such an impact sensor.
The equipment is expected to go on sale during the first half of this year.