Reebok has launched the Reebok Checklight, a sports activity impact indicator designed for athletes of all ages and skill-levels. The Checklight skullcap is designed for use in all helmeted and non-helmeted contact sports and activities.
In the heat of competition, athletes aren’t always aware of the severity of a blow to the head. Reebok has delivered a simple solution. The Checklight design uses multiple motion sensors to provide actionable impact data to help assess an athlete before continuing to play. An easy-to-read display of red and yellow lights indicates the level of impact. The Reebok Checklight is the first impact indicator that comfortably fits wearable electronics directly on the athlete – not on the athlete’s protective equipment. Embedding flexible electronics into a closely fitting skullcap helps to accurately measure direct accelerations that the head is experiencing in real-time.
Head impact injuries, also known as traumatic brain injuries, are a serious public health issue according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sports-related head injuries are a recognized problem in both contact and non-contact sports, and for athletes of all ages and skill levels from the student athlete to the elite athlete. For this reason, the Checklight is specifically designed for players of all ages and skill levels.
“At Reebok, we are dedicated to helping people be fit for life, no matter which sport or activity they participate in,” said Paul Litchfield, Reebok’s Head of Advanced Concepts. “The more we learn about head injuries, the more we understand the long term ramifications and we want to do our part to help ensure people can participate, compete and enjoy life. There is still much to be learned in this area, but we believe technology can play a significant role in improving the athletic experience and the Checklight is a perfect example of this. We’re very proud to introduce such an innovative and important product.”
More than three years of lab and multi-sport field-testing with hundreds of athletes ranging from youth to professional have served in the development and validation of the Checklight. During the creation of Checklight, Reebok has worked with head trauma experts in the medical and academic fields and professional athletes, including Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
“As a professional athlete, I understand and assume the risks involved in playing a sport at the elite level,” says Hasselbeck. “But as a professional athlete, I am also fortunate to have the very best, most experienced athletic trainers, doctors, coaches, even TV monitors, watching me at all times, providing immediate medical attention and really looking out for my safety. These resources just aren’t available at the youth level, where one coach may be responsible for the health and safety of an entire team. With the extra set of eyes provided by the Checklight, athletic trainers, coaches, and parents have the actionable information they need to check up on the athletes they care about.”
The Reebok Checklight utilizes the award-winning conformal electronics technology platform developed by Cambridge, MA electronics company MC10 to help ensure the product is comfortable and non-distracting to the athlete. MC10 reshapes high-performance electronics into ultra-thin systems that stretch, bend and flex seamlessly with the body.
The Checklight takes sophisticated impact data and simplifies it by providing easy-to-read, actionable LED lights. By providing an objective measure of impact force, the Checklight takes the burden off the athlete alone to start a conversation about symptoms. The device also helps reinforce safer contact techniques by encouraging athletes to keep their heads up and out of impacts.
“I have no doubt this will help create a paradigm shift in the way the sport of lacrosse is played,” says Philadelphia Wings (NLL) and Hamilton Nationals (MLL) all-star Brodie Merrill. “We need to teach athletes to not lead with their heads and to play the game as it is meant to be played; without the use of excess physical hits to the head. The effects these traumas can have on an athlete, in any sport, of any age, are dangerous, and the Reebok Checklight is the first step towards creating a safe and smart game.”
The Reebok Checklight is available nationwide on reebok.com and at select Dick’s Sporting Goods locations.