Protective Sports Equipment - Helmets

Sports equipment is a general term for any object used for sport or exercise. Sports equipment includes exercise equipments, different kinds of balls, protective equipments, nets, racquets, footwear, goals etc. In this particular article we are going to talk about the helmets, which fall under the category of protective equipments, its invention, importance and the latest trends.

A helmet is a form of protective gear worn on the head to protect it from injuries. The word helmet is diminutive from helm, medieval word for combat protective headgear. Historically, helmets have been made from different types of materials, including various metals, plastics, leather, and even some fibrous materials such as Kevlar. During ancient and medieval times helmets used to be made from metals, like bronze, iron or steel, though some boar's tusk helmets were known to ancient Mycenea.

If looked from a broader angle Helmets are being used in different professions such as armed forces officials, mill workers, and construction site workers, and people employed in heavy loading, etc. However, here we are going to concentrate on the use of helmets in sports category. No matter that helmets are being used in different profession but the fact remains that all helmets attempt to protect the user's head by absorbing mechanical energy and protecting against penetration. Their structure and protective capacity are altered in high-energy impacts. Beside their energy-absorption capability, their volume and weight are also important issues, since higher volume and weight increase the injury risk for the user's head and neck. Anatomical helmets adapted to the inner head structure were invented by neurosurgeons at the end of the 20th century.

The amphitheatre’s central area was for the cruel gladiators' fights or for naumachia. Arles amphitheatre, Verona Arena and of course Flavian Amphitheatre, the Colosseum, are the most important and best preserved examples.

In sports helmets are used in cycling, motor racing, ice hockey, rock climbing, cricket, baseball, American football, skiing, horse racing, etc. Helmets used for different sports have different designs.

For example, a bicycle helmet must protect against blunt impact forces from the wearer's head striking the road.

A helmet designed for rock climbing must protect against heavy impact, and against objects such as small rocks and climbing equipment falling from above.

Practical concerns also dictate helmet design: a bicycling helmet should be aerodynamic in shape and well ventilated, while a rock climbing helmet must be lightweight and small so that it does not interfere with climbing.

Baseball batting helmets have an expanded protection over the ear, which protects the jaw from injury.

Motorcycle helmets often have flip-down face screens for rain and wind protection, and they may also have projecting visors to protect the eyes from glare.

The advent of the goaltender mask commonly referred to as a goalie mask or a hockey mask is worn by ice hockey, inline hockey, and field hockey goaltenders, changed the way goaltenders play, allowing them to make more saves on their knees without fear of serious head or facial injuries.

Cricket helmets cover the whole of the skull, and have a grill or Perspex visor to protect the face.

Some helmets have other protective features attached to them, such as a face visors or goggles or a face cage, and ear plugs and other forms of protective headgear, and a communications system. Sports helmets may have an integrated metal face protector (face cage).

The sports protective equipment industry is a big not only in terms of revenue but in the past few years it has gained importance because of the safety concerns raised by many countries. Let’s take a look at these reasons in detail.

During the five years to 2012, revenue for the Protective Sports Equipment manufacturing industry has declined as the industry battled falling consumer spending and competition from imported products. According to IBIS World industry analyst Nima Samadi, the rising volume of protective sporting goods imported into America has greatly reduced domestic manufacturers' business. Also, the recession has made a huge negative impact on consumer demand for discretionary goods, such as sporting and athletic equipment, including protective sports equipment. Consequently, industry revenue is estimated to have declined at an annualized rate of 6.5% during the five years to 2012 to reach $738.3 million; these figures include a 0.9% revenue decline in 2012. Over this time, the average profit margin for industry operators has decreased due to the rising competition from imports.

However, despite recession-related declines, demand for Protective Sports Equipment Manufacturing industry products has been boosted over the long-term by growing concern about sports related injuries, says Samadi.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, 3.5 million children and teens get hurt annually playing organized or school sports. Some sports leagues have also started mandating that their athletes wear additional protective equipment, which has also increased demand for industry products. In particular, the rise in catastrophic brain injuries in high-impact sports, such as football, has driven demand for newer and safer football helmets. As economic recovery builds momentum, retail sales will improve. Moreover, as consumers become more health conscious, they will be more inclined to purchase athletic equipment including protective sports equipment. In light of these two trends, demand for the industry's products will increase and steadily grow revenue in the short term, despite the overall decline of the industry.

The New Voztec Helmet May Revolutionize Traumatic Head Injuries

Voztec helmet has taken six long-gestating years to be fully developed but this wait has been worth it. The Voztec helmet seeks to revolutionize motorcycle and football helmets (amongst others) by adding a retractable rear section, allowing for easy access for medical officials to remove the helmet in the event of a serious head or neck injury. The Voztec helmet also provides more protection for the jaw and temple areas of the head. This iteration of the Voztec helmet is the fifth prototype of the product. Official release date for the helmet has not been announced yet, but the Voztec helmet started its sale sometime late in 2012.

The Solar Ski Helmet Charges Your Gadgets

The Solar Ski Helmet is a product from Fraunhofer IZM. This Helmet has a 3D solar panel that fits along the curved surface of a ski helmet. It allows the helmet to be powered by the sun, which in turn can power your gadgets. By placing the panel atop the skier's head, large amount of energy is channeled to rejuvenate everything from smart phones to music devices. The biggest challenge faced with this product was creating a slim 3D solar panel that would work with a ski helmet without becoming hazardous or aerodynamically containing.

Hard work prevailed, but there is no word yet on the release date of this device. The retail pricing for the solar ski helmet is said to begin at about 300 Euros.

The Runastic Head Sensor Helmet Has Hands free Music and Mic Settings

The Runastic Head Sensor Helmet is a safe way for cyclists to listen to music or talk on the phone without worrying about their Bluetooth device or earphones flying off. This helmet is equipped with an attached microphone as well as the Play and Stop buttons for music, which let bikers, activate music and answer the phone single-handedly with one simple touch. Also included in the set is Bluetooth Smart Combo chest strap that has a GPS locator and measures the heart rate of the wearer. The information is automatically uploaded to the user's Smartphone Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone or iPhone, though the final one is only compatible with the 4, 4S and 5 using the Runastic app. The sturdy headgear is not only great for cyclists but also hikers, campers and the outdoor adventurers.

The DORA Helmet Integrates Turning Signals for Safer Road Cycling

Balázs Filczer's project is a hi-tech piece of protective equipment that's been designed to inform drivers about the wearer's intended movements. This master-piece headgear would connect via Bluetooth to a compact system installed on the bicycle's handlebars. The user simply has to press a button and indicators in the DORA Helmet would illuminate appropriately. Large arrow-shaped right and left turning signals are visible, particularly from behind and beside the cyclist. The rechargeable equipment also integrates a bright forward-facing light and a red rear one for added safety at night.

Signal Helmet Break Light Increases Bikers' Street Visibility

The Signal Helmet Break Light has been designed to keep everyone a great deal safer on the streets by making cars more conscious of two-wheeler activities. This clever accessory is completely wireless and able to connect to motorbikes' integrated illumination systems through RFID signals. Thus, anytime the rear red lights flash, so will the gadget on your headgear. Flexible Lumigram, a fiber-optic fabric makes up the hi-tech safety apparatus and enables it to conform to the size of open-faced and full cranial protective equipment.

In the above paragraphs we discussed the advantages of the helmets by which we can conclude that helmets are for the safety of human beings. Also we have discussed some of the latest developments in the helmets. Moreover, increasing awareness among the people about health and safety issues together improvements in science and technology we can hope to see more developments and innovations the industry of helmets.