Football is the world’s most popular sport. It is tough, grueling and every second of it is pumped with adrenaline. It is also known for being a violent game especially now when everything is so much faster and competitive. Injuries are bound to happen, but in recent times, concussion injuries during the game has reached an alarming rate. Despite of helmets and other protective gears, this problem has persisted causing various sports physicians to call it a concussion crisis. Xenith, a startup company based in Lowell, MA, tried to address this problem by developing thermoplastic, flexible helmets that adapt to the force of impact, allowing 18 shock absorbent discs to minimize the acceleration of head that leads to concussion.
The founder of Xenith, Vincent Ferrera aimed to design a smart and intelligent helmet that respond uniquely to the force of impact. What makes Xenith different from other protective head gears in the market, is the mechanism of shock absorption of the discs. The shock absorbers are made up of a thermoplastic that is both malleable and pliant in nature. Each disc is hollow from inside and has a small hole that allows air to flow in and out. Upon impact, the air is forced inside the discs making them stiff, creating a high energy system inside due to increased resistance. This prevents the discs from collapsing.
Unlike traditional helmets, the chin strap of a Xenith helmet helps adapt the helmet according to individual head shape and size, and increases contact area with the shock suspensory system. The shock system moves independent of the outer shell, which helps reduce the rotational forces at play. Along with the shock absorbers, the helmet is lined with interior foams and padding that provides and additional layer of protection and makes it very easy to wear. The flexible outer shell adds to this sleek and ergonomic design.
Xenith has recently formed an exclusive partnership with Rivals Professional Football League (RPFL), supplying them with helmets for their athletes. They are also working with the students of College for Creative Studies to design safety gears for professional footballers.