Sport Innovation/Technology in NFL helmets/Riddell Helmets
Riddell has been the lead supplier of NFL helmets for multiple years now, and are leaders for innovation within the industry. Last year Riddell was awarded two of the three highest possible 5-star rankings in the latest Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings™. Whilst Riddell supply multiple different designs throughout the NFL, the latest technology they incorporate into their manufacturing of their designs is embedded within all pro helmets and includes (Riddell, 2012); images avaliable at http://www.riddell.com/innovation/hits-technology/
Head Impact Telemetry System (HITS)
The MX encoder present within the helmet, is the electronic genius behind monitoring and recording impacts whilst being worn. This system measures the location, magnitude, direction and even duration of all impacts and then transmits the information to the wireless SRS (sideline, response system) (Riddell, 2012). The encoder doesn’t change the feel of the helmet and players are oblivious to wearing it (OBrien, 2005).
HITS is a head acceleration measurement system operating in real time. It contains six head mounted accelerometers and a RF-transceiver inside the helmet to record head impact not helmet impact severity(Gwin, Chu, & Greenwald, 2006).
This technology allows for easy and accurate sideline monitoring of on field collisions via wireless communication. This dual system allows coaches and medical staff with real time information that can identify potentially dangerous head impacts. It also allows for storage of the data to allow for a deeper understanding of the impact exposure profile of the athlete. This can also be used to manage lifetimes of helmets within circulation (Riddell, 2012). This twofold technology is still in the trial stages and is only seen within a handful of helmets within the NFL. Riddell has managed to record over 200,000 impacts so far and will continue to evaluate the technology in terms of the data it receives (Riddell, 2012). Data sideline moniters provide looks simalar to the photo found by following this link HITS data photo