By Peter Nowak
When we think of wearable gadgets, we tend to picture smartwatches that notify us of incoming e-mail or step counters that track our movements. The Linx IAS, however, is one wearable that goes beyond novelty or mild utility. It’s a potential life-saver.
The Linx IAS, or impact assessment system, monitors impacts to the wearer’s head via a small, USB key-shaped sensor that fits into a skullcap or headband. When it detects a significant blow or trauma to the head, it transmits the information to a phone or tablet app nearby, where it can be tracked.
The Linx IAS has its origins in military testing, but it’s now being developed for use in professional sports. Rochester, N.Y.-based Blackbox Biometrics Inc. hopes it will help reduce the number of concussions suffered, or limit the severity of injuries by giving players and coaches better advance warning.
“As a coach, it’s hard to tell when a kid’s taking too many punches,” boxing trainer Dominic Arioli told The Verge, a website that covers the future of technology, science, art and culture. “If they take a decisive blow, that’s obvious – but the accumulation of punches is another thing.”
Blackbox says the Linx IAS can help by tracking every blow and its severity, and by advising coaches on when to pull players. The company expects the $199 (U.S.) device to be available in April.
In Canada, more than 11,000 people die each year from traumatic brain injuries, according to the Brain Injury Association of Waterloo-Wellington. One in five sports injuries are head-related.
Linx IAS among gadgets that could “make our future healthier” | theglobeandmail.com