Don’t be a Hothead

Posted by Ken Lynch on Wed, Oct 20, 2010 @ 07:34 AM

RFID-Enabled Helmet Designed to Reduce Cases of Heatstroke

Hothead RFID HelmetTo demonstrate how hard football players hit each other, ESPN Sports Science suited up Bruce Campbell, an offensive guard for the National Football League’s Oakland Raiders, and had him run full speed at a tackling dummy.

The hit generated over 2700 pounds of force.  

After a weekend of vicious hits like the one demonstrated by Campbell, the NFL announced yesterday that it will begin suspending players for dangerous and flagrant hits and tackles - mainly those involving helmets. 

While there may not be an RFID application to prevent violent collisions between football players, there is one to monitor the temperature of players on the field to make sure they don’t overheat.

Developed by Atlanta-based Hothead Technologies and Kennesaw State University, the wireless heat monitoring system includes a lightweight, impact-resistant transponder with temperature-sensing capabilities embedded inside football helmets.  With a range of up to 500 meters, the system measures body temperature and transmits the information to a handheld computer monitored by a trainer or medical staff.  The promise of the system is to prevent incidents of heatstroke, the on-field cause of death of Minnesota Vikings star Korey Stringer in 2001.

Unique in its application?  Not at all - like many other uses of RFID, this solution could be applied to other markets.  Hothead Technologies is reportedly considering marketing the smart-helmet to the military and public services organizations like firefighters where heatstroke is also a threat. 

Tags: RFID, Sensors, Sports & Entertainment, Environmental Monitoring

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