Latest in Science

Image credit:

Color-changing helmets could warn you about head injuries

176 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Head injuries can be particularly sinister -- unless it's obvious that you took a bad blow, you might not get the help you need in time to mitigate the damage. University of Pennsylvania scientists may have an easy way to raise the red flag when you're hurt, however. They've crafted a polymer that changes color depending on the amount of force, giving anyone around you a sign that you've suffered some trauma. The key was to use holographic lithography to create photonic crystals whose structures change color when they deform. They don't require any power to work, and they're light enough that you could apply them to a helmet without noticing a significant weight difference.

While these crystals are normally tough to make, the researchers have developed a molding technique that could make them feasible for mass-produced headgear. If that happens, it could mean a lot for football, hockey and any other situation where head injuries are a practical concern. Medical crews could send some players straight to the hospital instead of bringing them to the sidelines, and your bike helmet could tell paramedics what's up if you're in an accident.

[Image credit: AP Photo/Ben Margot]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
176 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
Brave says 8.7 million people use its privacy-focused browser every month

Brave says 8.7 million people use its privacy-focused browser every month

View
The legal battle over 3D-printed guns is far from over

The legal battle over 3D-printed guns is far from over

View
Microsoft begins rolling out its Windows 10 November update

Microsoft begins rolling out its Windows 10 November update

View
Google wants to be your new bank

Google wants to be your new bank

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr