New technology looks to make American football safer

Global Business

Injuries have always been a hot topic for American football–an extremely physical, and many say violent sport. Some believe technology could help make it a safer and more enjoyable sport in the near future.

CGTN’s Mark Niu reports.

The National Football League has been cracking down on helmet to helmet hits.

But dangerous hits still happen, often times without a player even realizing it.

“It’s a life changer. If you have an undiagnosed concussion, if you take a big hit and you don’t follow concussion protocols, you’re at risk for a double concussion,” said Lisa Edwards, Marketing Project Manager at Sisu Mouthguards.

The Sisu Sense is the first ever mouthguard that measures every hard hit an athlete absorbs. The mouthguard contains a chip with a three-axis accelerometer that measures minor hits and major ones that register over 40 g’s.

Sisu representatives say 10 percent of high school football hits register over 40 g’s, and that NFL players can easily make hits over 100.

 “It’s the same type of technology that’s found in medical devices that getting implanted into the heart. The information is stored on a chip and then it downloads to the app. Low impacts over time matter. And high impacts, concussions over time matter. We’re trying to create awareness for the individual, the parent, the athlete,” said Lisa Edwards, Marketing Project Manager at Sisu Mouthguards.

Other tech companies are examining how to get a different perspective of the game.

This eyewear from the startup ORBI Prime has four cameras inside that allows me to stream video, look around 360 degrees. I can see everything – front, back and side.

That same four-camera technology is now being incorporated into a football helmet.

Orbi Prime’s co-founder says the tool is being tested with high school football teams to allow coaches to analyze each player’s view.

“He can watch almost through his players eyes and understand where player looked during the game, what he saw and what he didn’t see, and why he didn’t see it – because he didn’t look there or was he not able to see because the view was obstructed,” said Alexander Moreno, Co-founder & CTO of ORBI Prime.

Orbi Prime envisions their helmets someday being used in professional leagues, allowing fans to see the game from a player’s perspective.

“You can switch between them and see directly what they see. Even more, they could look down for example, but you can change the view and look around at any time. So It’s going to be new premium content of American football which never existed before,” said Alexander Moreno, Co-founder & CTO of ORBI Prime.

Although Moreno admits leagues like the NFL are conservative in adjusting to such change, he believes their technology could pave the way for premium content and a viewpoint that’s never existed before. Mark Niu, CGTN, Las Vegas.