Latest posts by Jonathan Greenstein (see all)
For anyone who loves to play or watch American Football, you know that concussions are a major issue in the sport. A key condition is Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease found in people who have suffered repeated blows to the head and concussions. The condition and its discovery were the subject of the Will Smith movie Concussion. It is worth mentioning that CTE is not endemic to American Football and can be found across a multitude of contact sports and activities. It seems that since the movie Concussion came out, American Football has been under extra scrutiny when it comes to risks of brain injury. One company, VICIS, has taken the issue head on and developed their new helmet, the VICIS Zero1.
What is the VICIS Zero1 helmet?
The VICIS Zero1 helmet looks to be unique. This American Football helmet is designed to absorb an impact and bounce back into shape, not dissimilar to a car’s bumper. The Zero1 is so effective that VICIS’s helmet has been ranked number 1 in the recent NFL Player Association Helmet Laboratory performance test. This test evaluated 33 different types of helmets available to players.
The helmet was the idea of Sam Browd, a neurosurgeon and the medical director of the Seattle Sports Concussion Program. He came up with the idea of VICIS when he grew tired of telling athletes in their teens that they had no choice but to hang up their equipment. He co-founded the company with Per Reinhall, the chair of the University of Washington’s Mechanical Engineering Program, and Dave Marver, the business brain of the enterprise.
How does the VICIS Zero1 work?
You are probably asking yourself, what makes the VICIS Zero1 so unique? The Zero1 uses a multi-layer design that is fashioned to absorb the types of impacts seen in professional American football. The crux of helmet is an impact-absorbing layer made from a series of columns that flex and move in response to an impact. This is regardless to the angle or even the location of the impact. Because of its design, the Zero1 can absorb both linear and rotational impacts. Once it comes into contact, the helmet’s shell flexes and then immediately bounces back into shape.
What does the VICIS Zero1 mean for American Football?
More than 25 NFL teams have recognised the value of the VICIS Zero1. It is expected that they will start wearing the Zero1 during the upcoming pre-season later in the year. This is a major step forward for the NFL as a whole. For years, there was outright denial that they had a head injury problem. It is only in recent times that the organisation has begun to acknowledge these issues. Having a helmet like the Zero1 come on the market and beat rivals such as Riddell, Xenith and Schutt in the safety & performance test makes it look like head injuries in American Football can be lessened or one day be a thing of the past.
What can I buy the VICIS Zero1
Looking to get yourself one of these helmets? Unfortunately, the helmet is not currently available for purchase online although it has been reported by Bloomberg that the price will start around $1500 per helmet. For more information on the VICIS Zero1, and for purchasing updates, you can see their website.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
Were you interested by the brief piece on Chronic traumatic encephalopathy at the start of this article? You can find more information on chronic traumatic encephalopathy here.
What do you think?
What are your views on the VICIS Zero1? Let us know in the comment box below.