New smartfoam tech pioneered in America could help sports coaches more easily gauge if a collision might cause their player a potential concussion.
The research team, led by engineers from Brigham Young University (BYU), has developed a ‘nano composite smartfoam’ that replaces the standard foam in a helmet. When compressed, the foam wirelessly sends information in real-time relating to the severity of the impact, to someone monitoring the data from a device on the sidelines. The measurements are based on acceleration, ‘impact energy’ and ‘impact velocity’; a combination that can pinpoint the location and severity of the impact. In tests it had a 90% accuracy, according to research carried out by BYU.
“The standard measurement systems on the market today directly measure the acceleration, but just measuring the acceleration is not enough and can even be erroneous. Our XOnano smartfoam sensors measure much more than just acceleration, which we see as a vital key to better diagnose head injuries.” explained BYU mechanical engineering Ph.D. student, Jake Merrell.