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Helmet gets ahead of concussion

Dan Wilkinson wears a concept model of his hi-tech Cortec helmet design. Photo: Supplied

A hi-tech helmet could put a dent in the number of mountain biking head injuries.

Designed by 23-year-old Massey University industrial design graduate Dan Wilkinson for his final year project, the Cortec helmet uses sensors to measure the impact experienced in a crash.

If the impact is severe enough to cause a concussion, the rider is alerted of the risk via an LED system and smartphone app and warned not to continue riding.

Wilkinson was inspired by the mountain biking community’s ‘she’ll be right’ attitude towards concussion.

“I’ve personally experienced the side effects of concussion, and it really knocks you for six,” he said. “Talking with other riders, I found superficial injuries like broken arms were taken more seriously.”

Wilkinson consulted brain injury specialists to develop his concept. ‘Gyrometers and inertia triggers have been built into the helmet to measure the speed and severity of a body collision, and whether it would be hard enough to injure the brain.

Replaceable panels in targeted impact zones allow the helmet to be repaired after a collision.

“It’s about keeping the rider and the helmet in 100 per cent riding condition,” Wilkinson said.

Still in the concept stages of development, Wilkinson hopes to one day bring his helmet into production.