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Archive for January, 2013
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In a world where most of us already have our smartphones glued to our ears and panic at the mere mention of powering down our devices, wearable technology is shaping up to be the next “big thing” here at CES.
According to new studies from IMS Research, the market for wearable-wireless devices is expected to hit revenues of $6 billion within the next four years. But alongside Android powered eyeglasses and tiny video cameras that fit on your ear are a few new gadgets that might just save your life, or your child’s life.
I sat down with Tennessee Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck Tuesday, as he unveiled Reebok’s new Head Impact Indicator. The thin, lightweight black skullcap sports MC10’s latest series of wearable sensors to help measure and detect dangerous hits to the head.
A tiny rechargable pack, about the size of a quarter, sits at the base of your skull. If you’re hit too hard — an impact registering above pre-programmed thresholds based on the head-injury criteria levels (HIC) — a yellow or red light goes on. The idea behind the synthetic cap is to give coaches, parents, athletes, and even us hard-headed weekend warrior types, a tool to take better care of our brains.
It’s easy to see why a professional athlete who gets tackled for a living would get behind this kind of technology. Hasselbeck has had a handful of concussions in his career and says he’s seen too many of his fellow-players suffer traumatic head injuries, when they failed to realize that knock to the noggin was more serious than they thought.
Perhaps even more important he says, is that this kind of technology could help kids, coaches, and parents everywhere. He talked about watching his own three kids play, tumble, and even wipe-out on a bicycle a time or two. With a head-injury, often times the severity isn’t all that obvious, especially to a child. The warning lights built right in to the cap, could help act as an extra pair of eyes.
Of course, whenever we talk about this topic, whether it’s when my own daughter falls off the monkey-bars or takes a spill of a horse (which just happened recently), I always think of actress Natasha Richardson. She died in 2009 after not realizing that a ski fall had caused her brain to bleed. The new Head Impact Indicator cap is expected to show up on store shelves in the first half of 2013.