Impact-sensing skullcap lights up red, yellow, or green

Riddled with sensors and stretchable electronics, the form-fitting cap could prevent brain injuries by advising coaches and parents of the impact with colored LED readouts.

A new form-fitting cap riddled with sensors and stretchable electronics from Reebok and Cambridge-based MC10 is an easy way to measure and indicate impacts to the head. Technology Review reports.

The sensor-filled device will offer red, yellow, or green LED readouts so coaches and parents could be advised on the severity of an impact – and possibly take the player out of the game.

Recent research has shown that an accumulation of smaller hits can be as dangerous as a big one, and that rotational acceleration (as in a spinning object) can also cause head injury.

“Head injuries and head impacts are pervasive in sports – and it’s very difficult to know what happened out on the field,” says MC10 CEO David Icke. “Only a few of the total number of incidents are witnessed by somebody,”

Football helmets with sensors can cost between $200 and $1,000. The new cap, Icke says, can be broadly available to youth programs, high school programs, and professional programs. No price for now.

The unobtrusive cap can be worn with or without helmets – which can be useful for unhelmeted sports like basketball and soccer.

The product was announced yesterday, presented today at the EmTech conference in Cambridge, and should be unveiled early next year.

[Via Technology Review]

Image by Schlüsselbein2007 via Flickr

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