Samsung Australia has unveiled a prototype wearable headgear that could help athletes monitor concussions.
Dubbed the "BrainBand," this headgear uses smart technology to assess and transmit the extent of the head trauma in contact sports. The device was developed through a Samsung Mixed Talents initiative which paired industrial designer, Braden Wilson, and neuroscientist, Alan Pearce, together to develop a practical solution to concussions in sports. Wilson has experience with wearable technology, and Pearce is well-versed in the neurophysiology of sports-related concussions. The duo developed the BrainBand to be worn while playing sports to provide real-time data. The headgear is a rubber strap that holds a tech pack full of sensors and LED lights which glow yellow, orange, or red, depending on the severity of the hit. The sensors send this data to an app on a tablet, phone, or other wearable worn by a medic, coach, or referee.
"There were a couple of challenges," explained Wilson in an interview with Mashable. "I realised it needed to be seen as a crown, something that would be worn with pride because we really don't want to target players as showing weakness, that is a concern we have with traditional head gear." Wilson also noted that they did not want the BrainBand to look like a helmet, explaining, "Headgear can give a false sense of security. The headgear may soften the blow of an impact but it won't stop the brain moving in the skull." With this in mind, the duo has created 10 prototypes of the BrainBand to-date, and they have been awarded a grant from Samsung to continue the project. Wilson and Pearce will continue their work and hope to put it into production.
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