Remember that film “Concussion” with Will Smith? It was the story detailing the fiasco with the NFL and the link between head injuries and massive mental problems football players face as a result. It was a really big deal back in the day. Technically…it still is.
No one wants to get into a head injury especially when you’re already wearing a helmet. Safety protocol’s paramount, but it’s sad even when the standard may fail. Think about it: there’s that percentage of failure always there that no matter how well protected your head is, if you hit it in the right area, at the right speed, and power — the helmet might protect some of your head, but not all of it!
Hence Why This Swedish Company POC Makes Headlines: Especially With Their New POC SPIN Helmet
This literally can change the game — for all sorts of sports requiring helmets. But there’s a certain science behind the POC SPIN helmet so simple and linear that you might think it’s a gimmick. It’s a play on your emotions. It’s a scam (you heard me — I said it). Rest assured, the new tech happens to be pretty sound for one real reason:
It’s based on something already here in the industry!
Here’s a little background for you in fleshing out the story of this new technology from POC and their SPIN Helmet — before this story came out, there was MIPS, which stands for “Multi-directional Impact Protection System,” a construct tech focusing on rotational impact innovation.
Simply put, this was a tech designed to allow your head — or anything, for that matter — to rotate upon impact, lessening the blow. Think of it as built-in vaseline on a boxer’s face to ensure punches glance off a bit easier.
POC focuses on that standard technology but it takes it one step further — MIPS reduces many impacts, but not all of them. POC’s revolutionary SPIN tech aims for omni-directional oblique impacts.
So here’s an analogy for you: MIPS is the vaseline on a boxer’s face, lessening damage from crosses and uppercuts. SPIN technology, however, can prevent left hooks, jabs, chops, backhands, and everything else. MIPS can optimize for a few directions and angles, but SPIN targets all directions and angles.
And that’s why the POC SPIN helmet has already made some headlines. But you won’t believe just how simple it was that they were able to accomplish this.
We’re Willing to Bet You’ve Never Worn a Helmet With Spherical “Balls” Placed Inside
Cushion-y balls, of course. The reason why SPIN has accounted for just about every direction of impact is that the impact then faces a type of ‘shape’ within the helmet that has no corners. No edges. It’s smooth, it’s curved, it accounts for any angle an impact may bring.
That type of circular technology allows the impact to glance off of any direction, and the value’s pretty clear especially in snow sports. You’re spinning, twisting, turning, flipping and a bunch of other tricks while on a snowboard or pair of skis, and you need a helmet that can brace the impact at any direction, no matter how bizarre the direction or angle.
The key to it isn’t just the circular tech within the helmet, accounting for the SPIN effect. Rather, no matter how you look at it, you may have what’s called an “oblique impact,” which are common and cause head injury, due to common rotation within the helmet. But thanks to these SPIN circular pads, all angles get the same kind of shear, providing the same kind of rotational impact protection.
There’s actual brain science involved in this innovative design, as POC takes a cue from how the brain works within its own internal protective system — cerebrospinal fluid. You see, there’s a purpose for that fluid, and no one probably has realized that the fluid is designed to protect your head during a fall.
Think about it: it’s fluid. There’s really no ‘shape’ to it. It can adapt to the force of impact at any angle, any situation. It might be the most bizarre of bangs, but the fluid itself is designed to protect the brain as much as possible, which is why someone can suffer a concussion and still function relatively well (at least until the poor sap faces more and more head impacts over time).
The Question Is: Can the POC Spin Helmet Work?
Does it work? Obviously a company’s going to stand by their product, and while the company does have their medical experts to vouch for the technology, there’s still no defining evidence that this may reduce head injury. It’s all speculation at this point, and we can say we trust the technology all we want —
But can the tech deliver? We’ll see as POC has already rolled out the product for their snow line, featuring protection for snowboarders, skiers, and other snow sports aficionados and experts clear and wide.
Oddly enough, though, currently the product won’t be available for other sports — *cough* football — but we expect that POC might make this available very soon. The standard issue, though, becomes another question —
Will the NFL bite on this, implement the new technology, and hopefully see even more of a decrease in head injury? Increase the safety even more? It’s possible.
But don’t count on it anytime soon.