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New Wearable Gadget Detects Concussion-Causing Impacts

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A new wearable device is designed to help sports players and coaches detect and assess head impacts that could cause concussion.

Developed by US-based BlackBox Biometrics Inc, it´s called the Linx Impact Assessment System (IAS) and it can be worn on a headband, a custom skull cap or other headgear.

The lightweight gadget features a 3-axis gyroscope, accelerometer and Bluetooth technology to track head motion and send live information directly to the sidelines, where coaches can connect over 100 players to a mobile app on an iOS or Android device for a constantly-updated dashboard of their players´ statuses.

When an impact is picked up, coaches can intervene and remove the athlete from play. Trainers and doctors can use the information gathered to more accurately triage and treat the affected player.

Concussion is a particular concern in the case of young athletes, and the new device also alerts parents when a head impact occurs during practice or a game – even if they are at home or work.

And players themselves can tap a button on the device to see a green, yellow or red LED which shows the severity of any impact.

Linx IAS was demonstrated at last week´s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. There´s a video at http://youtu.be/zbUVOWCKA7s which explains how it works.

As well as team sports like rugby and football, the technology can also be used for individual sports associated with a risk of head injury, such as skiing and snowboarding. The technology doesn´t just give information on current events – it also tracks the occurrence of impacts over time.

The device is expected to go on sale in March, priced at $199 ($132).