The NFL may soon change the way the game is played by introducing helmets with high tech sensors. As part of an initiative to save players from serious injuries due to high impact collisions the league is looking at high tech solutions which could have added benefits.
The Southern Impact Research Center is working with sensors in helmets and mouth guards that can also collect data about hits. The Tennessee lab is testing helmets that are worn by Hybrid III head forms that have movable jaws and nylon stockings to simulate hair.
If the data that is collected is found useful real players may be asked to use the helmets that the dummy heads are currently being used to test. The effect of concussion and head impact is a major concern in the NFL as severe brain damage has been found in NFL veterans. The trend is scarier as similar effects have also been traced in high school and college level football players.
Kevin Guskiewicz, who serves on the NFL head, neck and spine committee and directs sports-related brain injury research at the University of North Carolina said that a pilot project will be under way within a season or two. He said that the purpose was to find out in real time out on the field, as opposed to in a laboratory, what types of impacts players take. He added that it may be difficult to establish a threshold for concussive injury that can be applied to all football players.