Israel Folau puts concussion brainBAND to the test
A NEW piece of wearable technology first used by Israel Folau promises to track the impact of head contact in sports in real-time.
Samsung Electronics says the brainBAND is the work of Dr. Alan Pearce and Braden Wilson.
Australian rugby great and Samsung brand ambassador, Israel Folau, has trialled the prototype.
"It's a fantastic idea,'' Folau says in a video highlighting the impact of such tackles in rugby union and league.
The video say such impacts can be like a player being hit by a car at 55km/h.
"I think it'd be great if every player in Australia had access to this kind of technology to make contact sports safer for current and future generations,'' Folau said.
The prototype has been developed through Samsung's Launching People program, an initiative that brings together two experts from different backgrounds to demonstrate how technology can investigate and help solve real challenges facing society.
Dr. Alan Pearce, a neuroscientist heavily involved in concussion research and education, and Braden Wilson, an industrial designer, worked with Samsung on the program.
Together, they created a wearable technology prototype that can track impacts to the head in contact sports in real-time, with the aim to use this data to better understand concussion in sport and the ongoing impact on the brain.
Concussion is a growing societal issue in Australia with most incidences going unreported as symptoms are hard to see.
Unlike traditional head gear designed to protect the head in contact sports, brainBAND is designed to gather information regarding an impact in real-time - a first in Australia.
In the prototype, a specially designed headband houses sensors at the back of the head that measure the force of an impact.
This information would then be relayed via an app to medics, referees and coaches, all in real-time through the use of Samsung devices.
A series of LED lights embedded in the headband indicate the level of impact of a hit: yellow, orange and red for high alert, meaning a player should be taken off the field for assessment.
All impact data will be recorded and logged so that, over time, players could obtain a more complete picture of the forces their brain has been put under.
"The ultimate goal is that by understanding the dangers of repeated concussions, brainBAND may help prevent life changing injuries at every level of the game, and protect the next generation of players,'' Dr Pearce said.
You can follow the journey of Dr. Alan Pearce and Braden Wilson through concept to prototype, with all eight episodes published via the website (www.samsung.com.au/launchingpeople) and continue the conversation on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #MixedTalent