Football championships, coaches say, are won during preseason workouts. So football players, from high-schoolers up to the pros, report to mini-camps every summer to run windsprints and engage in full-contact drills. Broken bones and blown-out knees are the typical player's biggest concern, but 39 football players, mostly high-schoolers, have died from overheating since 1995.
Simply resting and hydrating overheated athletes would go a long way toward preventing deaths like Korey Stringer's. The 335-pound Minnesota Vikings lineman collapsed after a sweltering morning practice in July 2001. His body temperature was 108.8°, and he died of organ failure hours later. "It took Stringer some time to get into the danger zone," says Jay Buckalew, Hothead's CEO and founder. "I have no doubt that our device would have detected that."
Hothead is currently wrapping up deals with the major helmet companies, including Riddell and Schutt, and is negotiating with the NFL. Teams with HOT helmets will pay a $50 activation charge per player per year, plus an additional $100 annual team fee for the PDA service. The helmet companies have placed 10,000 orders for this year, and Hothead expects to roll out 400,000, mostly to high schools and colleges, by 2011.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.