New flexible sports cap could bring better head impact analysis to the game

While the whack of two helmets might be an unavoidable part of some high intensity sports, knowing a little more about what's going on during those impacts can mean the difference between a time out, and time in hospital. Reebok-CCM Hockey and electronics firm MC10 have just announced that they are developing a wearable cap that will register the strength and severity of head impacts during games. The project is actually aimed at all sports and age-groups, and uses high-performance electronics reshaped into an ultra-thin, breathable, flexible system that technology partner, MC10, expects to also be much more affordable. The cap will allow quick analysis through the use of different colored readouts, illustrating the strength of impact. The product won't be commercially available until next year however, but we're already thinking of potential worthy collaborations.

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Reebok-CCM and MC10 to Launch Revolutionary Sports Impact Indicator

Product will be Available to Consumers in Early 2013

Montreal, Canada and Cambridge, MA, October 24, 2012 – Reebok-CCM Hockey and MC10 Inc. today announced that early next year a revolutionary new wearable sports impact indicator that identifies impacts to the head during play, will be made commercially available to consumers. The impact indicator, which was developed through the collaboration of Reebok's Advanced Concepts group and award winning electronics company MC10, is designed to direct athletes on a pathway to assessment to determine if medical treatment or rest is needed before resuming play.

Head impact injuries, also known as traumatic brain injuries, are a serious public health issue according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sports-related head injuries are a recognized problem in both contact and non-contact sports, and for athletes of all ages and skill levels – from the student athlete to the elite athlete.

For this reason, the product is specifically designed for players of all ages and skill levels, not just for professionals. It provides players, parents, coaches and trainers with a visual measurement of force of impact, essentially serving as an extra set of eyes on the ice – or any other playing field.

"As one of the leading equipment manufacturers in the world, we are focused on not only improving the performance of amateur and professional athletes, but also doing whatever we can to protect players from possible injury," said Philippe Dubé, General Manager of Reebok-CCM Hockey. "As we know, head injuries are of the greatest concern today, and there is still much to be learned in this area. This product is a significant step forward in this process and we're very excited to be able to make it available to consumers for the first time next year."

MC10 reshapes high-performance electronics into ultra-thin systems that stretch, bend and flex seamlessly with the body. The impact indicator, MC10's first commercial product, relies on conformable technology to capture important impact data while being virtually seamless to wear. The technology is housed inside a thin, breathable mesh skullcap that fits comfortably under any helmet.

"Conformal biometric sensors are changing the game for both the elite and the student athlete," said David Icke, CEO of MC10. "MC10's sports products give athletes the enhanced sensing they need to optimize peak performance, while safely preserving the benefits and spirit of game play."

Over the past few years, Reebok-CCM Hockey has made it a major priority to increase player safety in the sport of ice hockey, and has committed to a product development approach that places safety at the core of its product creation philosophy, with research at the forefront of the equipment. In 2011, Reebok-CCM introduced the Safety Revolution Program, the company's commitment to improving player safety today and in the future. The company has also partnered with the University of Ottawa's Neurotrauma Impact Science Laboratory. Through highly advanced laboratory tests and simulations, this joint research and development partnership is helping the company gain further knowledge on impact management which ultimately will result in the creation of safer equipment as the game of hockey continues to evolve.

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Reebok-CCM partnering on impact-sensing flexible sports cap, hopes to improve real-time injury analysis