A new sports headband sensor warns coaches the minute a serious head impact occurs. The incidences of documented head injuries are on the rise and have athletes, coaches and parents alike concerned. A startup company known as BlackBox Biometrics has just unveiled a new sportswear piece known as the Linx Impact Assessment System (IAS). The device comes in the form of a headband that tracks and monitors head impacts as they occur in real time.

The Linx IAS is a small electric device about the size of a chewing gum and can be fitted inside a headband, which itself can be worn under any sports helmet. The IAS is equipped with a gyroscope and accelerometer that connects to a Bluetooth-enabled device. This enables coaches, trainers, and parents from the sidelines to monitor the player and keeps them notified should a concussive impact occur. The system also includes color-coded notifications of the type and severity of the injury. It also has a range of up to 300 feet.

In addition, the app also keeps a record of all the accumulated injuries that can be shared with medical personnel.

The sports headband sensor was originally developed for use by law enforcement and military. While other similar sensor devices exist, the Linx IAS is different in the sense that the sensor is worn over the head and not on the helmet as with other models. This allows for a more precise reading.

To highlight the severity of sport-related concussions, the following should be taken into consideration:

  • There have been 400,000 documented cases of brain injuries from high school athletes in the 2008-2009 school year.
  • Nearly 16% of football players suffered a concussion that resulted in loss of consciousness.
  • The number of sports-related emergency visits for children between the ages of 8-13 has doubled between 1997 and 2007.
  • High school athletes who sustained three concussions are three times more likely to experience another concussion in the same season.

The Linx IAS will be available for sale in March. It has already received a lot of praise from members of the sports community. With the device, athletes can be taken off the field the minute an injury is detected, thus preventing aggravating an injury that could have irreversible consequences.

[photo credit: Rick Burtzel]