Wearable electronics, or wearatronics, are highly anticipated applications of recent developments in material science that have reduced the weight and rigidity of electronics. Today, one of the leading companies in this field – MC10 – announced that its first commercial wearatronics product will be available in early 2013. The application: head impact sensing for athletes.
While there have been many cool helmet-based products for diagnosing or even treating head injuries, many of these incorporate relatively bulky and rigid accelerometers or are only available to soldiers or elite athletes. MC10’s product relies upon their flexible electronics technology and will be publicly available. It was developed through a collaboration with Reebok-CCM Hockey, a manufacturer of sports equipment, and according to the press release:
The impact indicator, MC10’s first commercial product, relies on conformable technology to capture important impact data while being virtually seamless to wear. The technology is housed inside a thin, breathable mesh skullcap that fits comfortably under any helmet.
“Conformal biometric sensors are changing the game for both the elite and the student athlete,” said David Icke, CEO of MC10. “MC10’s sports products give athletes the enhanced sensing they need to optimize peak performance, while safely preserving the benefits and spirit of game play.”
Though unconfirmed, the impact sensor will presumably be able to hone in on the site and force profile of the impact (and, if it has a time measurement component incorporated, then the impulse profile as well). The goal is to help athletes “determine if medical treatment or rest is needed before resuming play.” For now that is all MC10 is saying, but our contacts there have assured us that they will provide more details and images in the near future.
MC10 CEO David Icke will address this announcement at the EmTech Conference tomorrow, Thursday, October 25th at 9:30 AM EST as part of an overview of MC10’s product development plans in sports and fitness. The presentation will be streamed live here…