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Instant feedback for football helmets

How can we redesign football helmets for instant feedback?

This project was an exploration in how we can complete a feedback loop when a football player hits his or her head during competition. As a former football player, I observed that small, low impact head trauma goes largely unnoticed during practice and game competition. The importance of these low impact blows relative to long term brain injury is now being studied. I wanted to explore designs that could make both observers and the athlete himself more aware of the forces consistently impacting his brain. I observed several technologies that transmitted sensor data from an athlete's helmet to a sideline computer, but none that gave the athlete and everyone on the field immediate feedback. I imagined a technology that would cause an external sticker on an athlete's helmet to change color if a certain threshold of impacts was reached in a given time period. I designed and built a prototype using an Arduino microcontroller, an accelerometer, and a red LED. This project served as my course midterm for Physical Computing (NYU Interactive Telecommunication Program).