M2M Connected American Football Helmets: Fact or Fiction?

Last updated: 26 January 2023

This is the second in a series of posts around the Gemalto M2M Fact or Fiction quiz, which pits you against a series of scenarios – real or imagined – to test how much of an M2M visionary you are. For the whole quiz, click here, and for other posts in the series – click here.

Connected American Football helmets do, in fact, already exist. Riddell, currently the official helmet manufacturer of the NFL, developed the Revolution IQ HITS helmet with the aim of better diagnosis of head injuries in football, which is a highly controversial topic these days.

The HITS (which stands for Head Impact Telemetry System) helmet is the first helmet that monitors and records every significant incidence of head impact sustained during games and practices. Sensors inside the helmet record location, magnitude, duration and direction of head impacts and impact accumulations, allowing players to upload and evaluate each occurrence.

Riddell has also brought out an Insite Impact Response System, based on HITS, which is designed to alert team coaches to high-risk single and multiple head impacts, and enables improved chances of diagnosing concussion.  It’s been a significant step forward for M2M technology in sports; however, it’s by no means perfect.

Whilst they can measure impact magnitude (which is useful), helmets, such as the HITS, still can’t inform a coach or a player if the wearer has definitely been concussed. There’s clearly still room for improvement. Who knows how innovation in this field could change the game? The possibilities are brilliant; just imagine how a helmet that instantly diagnoses concussion could change the health of the game and even many other sports where impacts are commonplace. Rugby players could also benefit from sensors of this nature, as could cyclists, or high-speed racing drivers. There’s plenty of investment, interest and brilliant minds out there working on this; it’s only a matter of time before the potential of M2M technology is fully realized. It will be then that we really start to see eye-opening innovations. What do you think the future of M2M in this field holds? Let us know @Gemalto.

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