Ready, Set, Hut! Intel Designing Safer Football Helmets

Paul Lilly

The NFL as of late has been making a concerted effort to cut down on helmet-to-helmet collisions, handing out heavy fines and game suspensions to the league's worst offenders. That should certainly help avoid head and neck injuries, but the NFL isn't the only one looking out for its players. Intel on Thursday announced it is collaborating with industry experts to design new football helmets that would reduce the risk of short- and long-term injuries.

There's a ton of science involved here. Intel said it's been tapping into supercomputers and workstations to simulate collisions to study the impact on the brain. Collaborative partners include Riddel (helmet and protective equipment designer) and researchers from the Thayer School of Engineering, Wayne State University, University of Northern Colorado, and Texas State University-San Marcos.

"Computer simulations have been instrumental in designing improved brain injury criteria," said Dr. Igor Szcyrba with the University of Northern Colorado. "In the near future, they can also help doctors diagnose actual brain injuries."

Simulated collisions also include actual data from on-field impacts courtesy of Riddel's cleverly named Head Impact Telemetry System (HITS - get it?), a proprietary in-helmet technology that provides real-time data.

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