Monday, March 28, 2016

Brain Band

Concussions are a growing contemporary issue in sports. From films, newspaper headlines, to magazine articles few Americans are unfamiliar with the negative effects caused by repeated blows to the head. Rugby and football are notorious for frequent head injuries, but new technology can help prevent brain damage caused by such impacts.
            Samsung and the Australia government brought together a team of scientist to help identify, prevent, and treat head injuries in rugby and football. They came up with a device called the BrainBand, The BrainBand is a device, like a headband, that the athlete wears with sensors on the back that can detail the force of an impact. If there is a blow to the head, the band will light up yellow, orange, or red. Yellow signifies that there was a significant impact, orange that the player should be checked up on, and red means they definitely should be removed from the game. This brainband is able to send data to devices such as smartphones, tablets used by coaches and medics, and even smart watches used by referees.
            The big thing about all the data transmitted by the brainband is who makes the final call on an injury. Historically, a coach or medic will ask a player how they felel, which yields unhelpful results cause players typically lie to continue playing. Now, the coaching staff, referee and, medics can all see impact data to help determine weather or not they should let someone continue to play. In football, 50% of the time, injured players go right back to playing after an injury without missing a game.[1] Now, even if the coaching staff and the player are being negligent, a referee can make the final call and back up his decision with data provided by the brainband.
            One of the few downsides to wearing the braiband in rugby is pride. Unlike football, rugby requires no padding and many players pride themselves on this aspect. A headband lighting up when they get hit, even though it is for their own benefit, could possibly be resisted by many rugby players. Football players, on the other hand, are required to wear helmets so brain bands could potentially be built in. Either way I certainly anticipate some resistance.
            Being on the rugby team at Loyola new concussion technology could potentially affect me greatly. The article did not mention how much the brainband cost, but how high tech it is implies it would be pricey. The video the article provided made them look kind of fashionable so I could see myself wearing them. Either way, it is good to see a multinational cooperation like Samsung tackling a big issue like concussions.

Works Cited

Chant, Ryan. "Samsung Is Now Getting Involved With Concussion Issues In Sports." SportTechie. SportTechie, 28 Mar. 2016. Web. 28 Mar. 2016. <>.

Smith, Stephen. "Head Injuries in Rugby vs. Football  - Brain Injury Law Center." Brain Injury Law Center. Brain Injury Law Center, 16 Oct. 2014. Web. 28 Mar. 2016. <>.

[1] Smith


  1. I think this is an interesting topic and is very relevant to contact sports today. We see many NFL players retiring early as a result of head-injuries and players' careers ending over playing in a game when they should not have. Recently there was even a movie released on this very issue called Concussion. I think the wearable technology in the form of the band is a great idea that allows it to be versatile to every contact sport. Some of my questions would be how it compares to the already existing technology in the NFL with the Riddell IQ and Ridell Insight which provide a compact alert system for impact on football helmets. Additionally, I would be concerned with how thick the headband was because in a lot of compact sports that are required to wear a helmet, players might not wear it if it is uncomfortable under their helmets. Also, I would be concerned with how weather affected the readings of impact. There are times that sporting events are held, especially football, where players play in below freezing temperatures. However, like you mentioned I think that it is great to see a company like Samsung taking an initiative on such a concerning issue. I think that impact technology is going to be a great benefit to compact sports and help prolong players' careers.

  2. I think the idea of the Brainband is really interesting. However, I have some concerns with it. How much will it cost? Is it heavy? If the player has thick hair, will the headband even be able to detect the impact? I do believe that information technology has progressed to help every day experiences, but I think relying on the players feelings is always more accurate. While I think it would be helpful to know right away how bad the impact was, I think each person has a different pain tolerance so I am unsure if the Brainband will be able to take that into account. I do like the fact that pride was brought up as well- Do tough players want to rely on a headband to tell them if they are too hurt to continue playing the game? I think the idea is good, but I think it needs to be tweaked as time goes on.


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