This article was published a couple of years ago, but recent news and testing have resurfaced the ideas for safer helmets.
As NFL and college football training camps begin preparing players for their upcoming 2010 seasons, the focus on the long-term damage of concussions is greater than ever. One industrial designer thinks he’s found a solution: a better, safer helmet.
Football helmets have long followed a consistent model: A single, solid outer shell with a thick layer of padding inside. “It reminds me of bumper cars without the bumpers,” says Michael Princip, whose day job is as a designer for B/E Aerospace. That’s an unacknowledged part of the problem, Princip maintains.
In the past year, there have been numerous articles about past players suffering from memory loss and dementia, states enacting concussion laws, and young players dying from head trauma sustained on the field. Last week, the NFL distributed a stern warning to players on all 32 teams about the effects of head injuries, offering a reversal to its historically laissez-faire attitude toward concussions and brain injuries in general.