Linx IAS helps identify sports concussions

By C.C. Weiss

Concussions – or at least concussion discussions – are all the rage lately, particularly in relation to professional sports leagues like the NFL. BlackBox Biometrics is adding to the discussion with a small, lightweight sensor designed to track concussive forces. Derived from the company’s military blast force sensor, the consumer-grade Linx IAS straps to the head via a beanie or headband and measures impacts, providing an easy-read analysis that can help athletes identify concussions.

BlackBox debuted the Linx IAS at CES 2015, where it won Innovation Awards in the Fitness, Sports and Biotech; Tech for a Better World; and Wearable Technologies categories. The wearable, which weighs about the same as a nickel and looks like a thin, flat USB drive, uses an integrated three-axis accelerometer and three-axis gyroscope to measure forces on the head. By sliding it into the accompanying skull cap or headband, the athlete can wear it under a helmet or on its own, in warm or cold weather. BlackBox imagines it being used for team sports like football and hockey, as well as individual sports like snowboarding, bicycling and skateboarding.

The Linx IAS sends data wirelessly via Bluetooth Smart to the accompanying Android/iOS app, where the athlete or team manager can analyze it. It sends an alert immediately after a concussion-level impact occurs, so a coach, parent or trainer can check the athlete out right then and there – the app even includes a “cognitive and concussion symptoms test”. For the athlete, the unit has a color-coded LED alert system that allows him or her to check immediately to see if the hit was low impact (green), moderate (yellow) or severe (red).

The company is careful to stress the Linx IAS device and app do not actually diagnose a concussion – you’ll need physician for that. The IAS merely gives the athlete a better tool for analyzing risk and identifying when it’s time to get checked by the doc.

Up to 128 Linx units can be paired to a single mobile device, allowing a coach, team doctor, parent or other group leader to monitor multiple units from a single device. The app also pushes data to the cloud where it can be shared with multiple users and accessed via a Web app and a PC utility.

The Linx IAS is a lighter, consumer-ready design based on BlackBox’s military-spec Blast Gauge. The company started in 2011 with the goal of measuring the unseen blast forces that were leading to hundreds of thousands of traumatic brain injuries among US troops. The Blast Gauge uses a total of three sensor units – one on the helmet, one on the chest and one over the non-firing shoulder – to provide all-around blast tracking and analysis. BlackBox has supplied Blast Gauges to US and international military forces, as well as law enforcement agencies.

In moving its technology to the consumer sports market, BlackBox cites a 2013 Institute of Medicine report that found that up to 3.8 million people per year are affected by a sports- or recreation-related brain injury. It also notes a 2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that found that the number of Americans younger than 19 treated for sports concussions increased from 150,000 to 250,000 a year between 2001 and 2009.

The waterproof Linx IAS will be available by the end of the first quarter of 2015, starting at US$200. It will come packaged with a cordless AC adapter and your choice of skull cap or headband. The integrated battery will provide up to 14 hours on a single charge and it will charge via the built-in USB, or an electrical outlet with the AC adapter.

BlackBox Biometrics Linx IAS |

iPhone Life Magazine Awards Linx IAS “Best of CES 2015”

A dedicated team of iPhone Life writers combed the far reaches of every hall to find the coolest new tech for the iPhone or iPad. Their Best of CES 2015 awards went to “the most forward-thinking, creative, and useful iOS-related gear coming to market this year.”

Linx IAS was chosen among over 3,600 CES exhibitors. They were given an acrylic award for their accomplishment to display with their booth. Declares Linx IAS “Hits It Out of the Park”

Linx IAS won the prestigious “Editor’s Choice Award” from Along with receiving prominent placement in the January 8, 2015 edition of USA Today, BlackBox Biometrics was given a stunning trophy recognizing their accomplishment.


The Linx IAS by BlackBox Biometrics monitors and rates any concussive or sub-concussive head impacts an athlete suffers over the course of a season, stores that information, and makes it available via a slick smartphone app. Significantly, over time the accumulated data can be used to gauge the danger of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), thought to be the cause of memory loss in professional athletes. The data may also help scientists learn more about the dangers moving forward.

The device itself is small enough to fit inside a headband or skull cap, and was developed in conjunction with the U.S. military. It records the rotation and force of each blow to the head and even lets the user know when medical attention is necessary. At under $200, it’s a great option for youth athletes, their parents, or even whole teams.

BlackBox Biometrics Linx IAS |

Linx IAS Featured on The Verge

Linx IAS Highlighted in Mini-Documentary on The Verge

The Verge highlighted Linx IAS in a special Consumer Electronics Show 2015 edition of Detours.

Detours is a web series funded by the Ford Foundation about traveling across the country to find the people, groups, and companies that are solving America’s problems in new and unconventional ways. BlackBox Biometrics’ Linx IAS was recognized as one of these revolutionary products.

Can a small head-borne sensor help save athletes’ lives? | The Verge

Child hockey player wearing Linx IAS

Army-grade technology featured on

By Joe Stohlman,

BlackBox Biometrics will be debuting their award-winning Linx Impact Assessment System (IAS) at the 2015 International CES. The military-tested Linx IAS technology is built to measure and track head injuries during sports and youth activities.

Thanks to some high-profile cases in the NFL, concussions are slowly being recognized as a serious risk for athletes, especially children and teens. According to the CDC, more than 170,000 traumatic brain injuries are reported annually in children up to 19 years old.

The Linx IAS is a wearable device, much like the Checklight Impact Indicator from Reebok. The device is the size of a stick of gum, and can be attached to headbands, custom skull caps and other headgear.

It boasts mobile connectivity that sends live information directly to the sidelines, so coaches know when a player has been affected. The mobile app will work on Android and Apple devices, helping coaches and parents track head impacts over time. There’s also a feature that helps to identify signs and symptoms of concussions after the hit.

BlackBox says the Linx will be available at the end of Q1 2015, and we’re hoping to check it out in person on the show floor this week. Hopefully our hands-on impressions won’t include actual head trauma.

Protect your kids with an Army-grade concussion tracker |