As concussions and player safety continues to become big news in college and pro football. Louisiana State University (LSU) is taking player safety seriously and leading the way by adopting concussion technology. The university is the first college football program to partner with a biometrics company that makes a “smart” mouth guard.
LSU averages six concussions per training camp and two during the regular season. A large number of the concussions occur among the offensive and defensive lineman.
Twenty LSU players now wear the Vector Mouthguard, a piece that measures the hits they take. The mouth guards were made by a company called i1 Biometrics; they’re described as a “smartphone in your mouth.”
When a player takes a hit, the mouth guard sends signals to a wireless receiver. The data shows when the hit occurred and at what g-force. By the end of a practice or game, trainers have a cumulative list of every major hit. The data can help trainers decide when to pull players off the field, and can also help players realize when they need to report big hits.
LSU notes that a big challenge is getting players to consistently wear technology that would track such information. With the mouth guard, they simply put the piece inside their mouth, play, and then place it in a charger once they are done practicing or playing.
The Vector MouthGuard costs $199 and is designed to last one year, hopefully many more colleges and high school sports teams will look into using this technology to keep their players safe.