Ready! Set! Hut! Hut! RFID?

Posted by Ken Lynch on Fri, Dec 23, 2011 @ 09:08 AM

Sensor HelmetFootball is by far the most popular sport in the United States with much of its success being credited to its sheer brutality and gladiator mentality. Let’s face it; if you watch football on TV, you are likely drawn in by the bone crushing hits.

If you pay attention to the sports scene at all, you undoubtedly have been hearing a lot of discussion around player safety, specifically, the issue of concussions.  What was once referred to as “getting your bell rung” has now been more appropriately diagnosed as a concussion, and has sparked spirited debate over player safety and the ramifications of multiple concussions on a player’s long-term health.

The issue of concussions was largely ignored in contact sports such as football and hockey until the middle of the last decade when former Ivy League football player and former WWE wrestler Chris Nowinski wrote a critically acclaimed book called: Head Games: Football’s Concussion Crisis, which was published in 2006.  This book and his subsequent research and affiliation with the Boston University School of Medicine has shown a bright light on the issue of sports based concussions.

So what does Football have to do with RFID? 

I’m glad you asked.

Treehouse Labs, a product development firm based in Austin, TX recently announced that they will soon be testing a prototype along with Shockwave Impact Systems of Chicago that allows them to install a sensing system inside of football helmets in order to alert coaches and medical personnel when a player experiences an impact great enough to cause a concussion.  Using RFID, the data is transmitted to a web-based server that can be accessed via smartphones. The transmitters are expected to have a range of approximately 2.5 miles.

These developments have the potential to open up a whole new arena for RFID technology. In addition to football, contact sports such as hockey and lacrosse would seem a natural progression.  Other sports such as auto and motorcycle racing and cycling could benefit as well; information gathered from these sensors could assist medical personnel in diagnosing head injuries quicker and take the appropriate steps for treatment.

These are just the latest examples of how RFID is finding its way into our everyday experiences and improving the quality of our daily lives.

Tags: RFID, Sensors, Sports & Entertainment

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