The creator of the innovative football helmet that performed best in NFL testing the last two years is taking its concussion-reducing technology from the playing field to the battlefield.
VICIS, maker of the Zero1 football helmet, is partnering with the U.S. Army to research ways to reduce head injuries in the military through a development grant announced Tuesday.
The Seattle-based company will replace foam pads in existing Army and Marine Corps combat helmets with liner technology developed for its Zero1 football helmet, said VICIS CEO and co-founder Dave Marver.
“This aligns with our mission and it allows us to protect those who have signed up to protect us,” Marver told The Associated Press. “The technology remains in development, but it’s very promising and we’re hopeful it will make a big difference in the lives of our servicemen and women.”
Today’s combat helmets are designed primarily for ballistic protection and shielding from gunfire and shrapnel. But a 2013 Congressional Research Service report showed that four out of every five traumatic brain injuries in the military are caused by blunt impact in training and other non-deployed settings.
“The main thing is the current combat helmets are … not optimized for blunt impact protection and that’s what football helmets are designed to do, protect against blunt impact,” Marver said. “And so what we’re doing rather than working to replace the shell of the combat helmet, which is good at ballistic protection, we’re actually replacing the inner padding, which is currently just foam.”
Marver said medical staff at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle first reached out to him in 2016 after hearing about the work his company was doing with the Seattle Seahawks and asked …read more