Getting a blow to the head can sometimes be dangerous for athletes. Because it is often difficult to find whether an injury has happened or not, Reebok and flexible electronics developer MC10 have introduced the CheckLight skull cap which will analyse whether a blow to its wearer’s head is potentially brain-damaging or not.
The system has a tri-axial accelerometer and a gyroscope, for assessing linear and rotational acceleration, respectively. And there is a microprocessor to analyze the output of an impact.
The cap will fit on the head easily and players can wear a sports helmet on top. As you can see above, there will be lights at its bottom which will be in plain sight. If an impact to a player’s head meets or exceeds certain limits, coaches and other players will be able to see blinking yellow or red lights (depending on the severity of the blow). Based on the lights, the individual can be sidelined for testing (maybe by using the Harvard tablet app) or taken to the hospital.
There are other systems available at the moment, but all of those are reportedly using sensors mounted on the helmet. That approach may not give an accurate reading about whether or not something has happened to an athlete’s head. Furthermore, if an athlete is using the same cap all the time, he can check cumulative impacts since the microprocessor logs the number of impacts.
The cap is expected to be available from Reebok later this month for an unannounced price. You can sign up here for notifications about the product’s launch.