Technology would measure football collisions in real time

Guardian Caps

Concussions in football have become a major concern in pro and amateur sports levels, but a new breakthrough could help detect injury early.

GOING IN-DEPTH //Other companies are working on ways to protect players on the football field.

  • In 2012, we told you about local company Treehouse Labs. It developed a way to measure the impact of a hit using sensors. The data could then be sent to a smartphone so coaches and parents could find out whether the student is at-risk for a concussion.
  • And some local teams are already using Guardian Caps. Players at Cedar Park and Regents School of Austin wear special caps over their helmets in practice. The caps add an extra layer of protection from hard hits, but players cannot wear them in games.

A new sensory technology developed by an Austin company is working to find early signs of concussions and help reduce long term injuries.

Concussions in football have affected thousands of players over the years, and many fear the game has become to dangerous. The concern of head trauma has also affected youth sports enrollment. Pop Warner, the nation’s largest youth football league, says their numbers dropped 9.5 percent between 2010-2012.

A local company now says they have found a way to measure helmet collisions in real time.

“It’s basically a matrix of smart sensors that will dictate the location, direction, magnitude and frequency of all impact that are affecting the helmet,” said Pierre Touma, CEO of Alexo Inc.

Touma said the embedded sensors will give coaches on the sidelines real time data following impact. A $250,000 grant awarded to Alexo on Wednesday will help speed up research.

So far, no testing has been done with live football players, but local high schools will likely be part of live research within a year.

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