As it turns out, there are quite a few uses for a $100 off-the-shelf computerized scale, above and beyond getting fit -- Nintendo's Wii Balance Board is now providing a mechanism by which college football teams at Ohio State University and the University of Maryland can cheaply determine whether players are suffering from concussions. Taking the place of force plate machines that can cost tens of thousands of dollars, the white plastic boards measure students' balance (using yoga poses) and coordination (in Table Tilt) before a game, to provide a frame of reference against which trainers can measure whether athletes are fit to keep playing. Though some scholars found Wii Fit didn't stack up favorably against the expensive force plates, the universities trialing the system called it "pretty decent," so the question is whether Nintendo's peripheral offers a reasonable enough benchmark for the price. We suppose the American Heart Association liked it well enough.

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Two universities adopt Wii Fit to monitor football concussions