Whether it is the helmet liner of Unequal Technologies or a protective cap made by Gamebreaker Helmets, companies are rapidly bringing products to market that seek to blunt the concussion problem.
Unequal Technologies, a firm that has been mentioned here before, has enlisted Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who has been a target of NFL discipline for his helmet-to-helmet hits that have caused concussions, to promote the line, which Robert Vito, president of Unequal Technologies, calls a “seat belt for the helmet.”
One-eighth of an inch thick, the liner includes a layer of Kevlar, the synthetic fiber used in bulletproof vests. The liner can be applied over existing helmet padding.
The company labels its product as “concussion reduction technology,” citing independent laboratory tests that show its liner allegedly dissipates head impacts. It added that the liner satisfies, at least in part, the criteria of the Severity Index, a standard created by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE), a non-profit group that tests sports helmets.
Meanwhile, Gamebreaker Helmets has launched the Gamebreaker protective cap, which has been described as a new type of protective headgear designed to reduce the threat of concussions and other head injuries for participants in what are considered “non-contact” sports.
Founded by Mike Juels, owner of Corporate Images, a promotional products company, and former NFL player Joey LaRocque, Gamebreaker was introduced over the summer.
“We’ve gone through extensive testing with these helmets to get the right material that would be lightweight, flexible and washable while at the same time offer a good level of protection to the end user,” Juels told the Los Angeles Daily News.
The product is made in Taiwan with team graphics applied at the corporate headquarters and distribution facility in the U.S.