Posted November 06, 2013

BYU Student Creates “Smart Foam” Football Helmet that Measures Impacts in Real-Time

News, Video

Though we have every reason to be cautious and cynical about everything the NFL tells us about new helmet technology, the broad exposure of football concussions should ultimately lead to sizable innovation.

One such potential advancement has been developed by BYU student Jake Merrell, who invented a “smart foam” in which nano-particles are embedded into the helmet foam to measure impact. The signals are read by a micro-controller and sent to a tablet which coaches can monitor on the sideline, enabling them to be proactive about the forces incurred by collisions as opposed to merely reacting to concussion symptoms.

Merrell plans to submit this development to the Head Health Challenge, in which the NFL is collaborating with G.E. and Under Armour to spend $60 million researching and developing new helmet technologies.

[BYU via Gizmodo]


Gimbal the inner so it can rotate independently of the shell. That would reduce rotational force transfer to the head. Put 1/2" of foam on the outside of the helmet to reduce the shock created when two hard shells collide. It would be easy to put skin and graphics on there. Make the outer skin slippery to eliminate the propensity of the helmet to stick to another. My .02c