Piezoelectric Nano-Foam Measures Football Helmet Impact in Real Time


According to the CDC, over 1.6 million sports-related concussions happen annually - football being the sport with the highest concussion risk. The NFL and helmet makers have recently put more resources into investigating concussions, but current technology only provides data through bulky accelerometers in the crown of a helmet. A new piezoelectric foam created by Brigham Young University student Jake Merrell accounts for both force and acceleration to measure actual impact. When compressed, the self-powered foam generates electrical signals that are transmitted wirelessly to a tablet or computer in the hands of a coach or trainer. Merrell hopes this technology is able to transform any foam into an impact sensor for a wide range of applications, from law enforcement to automotive.