BYU Student Creates "Smart Foam" Football Helmet that Measures Impacts in Real-Time

Wednesday November 6th, 2013


Though we have every reason to be cautious and cynical about everything the NFL tells us about new helmet technology, the broad exposure of football concussions should ultimately lead to sizable innovation.

One such potential advancement has been developed by BYU student Jake Merrell, who invented a "smart foam" in which nano-particles are embedded into the helmet foam to measure impact. The signals are read by a micro-controller and sent to a tablet which coaches can monitor on the sideline, enabling them to be proactive about the forces incurred by collisions as opposed to merely reacting to concussion symptoms.

Merrell plans to submit this development to the Head Health Challenge, in which the NFL is collaborating with G.E. and Under Armour to spend $60 million researching and developing new helmet technologies.


BYU Gizmodo
SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.