A pressure sensor used in football helmets designed by student engineers at the Western Michigan University has the capability of monitoring the severity and location of hits to a player’s head.
The sensor was developed using printed electronics on a flexible organic plastic substrate that covers the inside of a helmet. Data from the sensor is transmitted via Bluetooth to a smartphone, where it can be reviewed instantly to know the severity of a hit. The data could also be stored on a cloud-based server to provide a complete history of hits to a player’s head. This impact-sensing technology has applications beyond the football field including military, automotive supply, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food packaging and clothing.