Riddell has had it rough in 2013. The NFL's official helmet maker since 1989 is still defending against the concussion-related lawsuit that's still ongoing even though the league settled its side over the summer. The league also ended its relationship with Riddell, announcing that this season will be the company's last as the official helmet maker.
Tougher times call for tougher, safer helmets, and the company is looking to do just that by inventing Riddell InSite. The homophone accurately describes what the system is about. Riddell InSite is a monitoring system that alerts the "sideline to significant single or multiple head impacts, and alerts coaches to players who may need further training on proper hitting technique to reduce risk of injuries," according to Riddell. The helmet will use a five-point sensor pad that measures head impact and alerts a sideline monitor about who's exceeded the threshold (which is determined by playing level and position). In short, InSite is a measure to help prevent concussions rather than a diagnostic.
The product, which was formally unveiled in October, is aimed at high school and college football players. It's a great move, but there's a problem if a school's football program doesn't make the big bucks. The monitor costs $200 and the helmets cost $150 each. So that's $7000 on the Riddell InSite for a football team of at least 45 players. It can be argued that the extra cost of the preventive measures is worth preventing the potential longterm consequences.
[via Fast Company]