Picking up on the symptoms of concussion can be tricky business at the time of an incident, and measuring its effects thereafter aren't so straightforward either. Looking to further our understanding of brain injuries and how they can be managed to avoid long-term harm, Samsung has developed the brainBAND to quantify the force of impacts to the head.
We have seen a few novel approaches to tackling the issue of concussion in sport recently. These have included football helmets that flex like car bumpers, sideline systems that diagnose concussion in a minute by tracking eye movements and neck bands that help soften blows to the head.
Samsung's prototype device also comes in the form of a discreet band, though it is meant to be worn around the noggin like a regular sweatband. It has sensors embedded at the back of the head to measure the force of an impact, with data able to be sent to medics, referees and coaches in real-time via a companion app.
On the device itself, LED lights flash yellow, orange or red to indicate the severity of the knock, with the latter indicating that the player should be pulled from the field for an assessment. All of the impact data is logged so players and staff can keep an eye on the impacts the players has received over a career.
At this stage, the prototype headband is not available to buy, but was developed with the help of neuroscientist Dr. Alan Pearce and industrial designer Braden Wilson with the aim of gathering data on head impacts across contact sports. The team has trialed the device on professional rugby players to improve our understanding of brain injuries and help avoid life-changing effects in future generations of players.
You can hear from a couple of these players in the promo video below.
Source: Samsung (PDF)