Halo shirt’s smart foam collar protects athletes from whiplash

Canadian start-up Aexos developed Halo, a compression shirt fitted with a collar made of smart material that helps reduce whiplash of the head and neck during impact in contact sports, without affecting the range of motion or mobility.

Players of contact sports like football, ice hockey or rugby run high risks of getting a concussion, with potential long-term consequences like memory loss. In the past ten years, reports of concussion in youth sports have gone up with 200 per cent in the past ten years in North America.

The most common protective gear against concussions and impacts to the head are padded helmets. However, medical research links whiplash injury as a major cause for concussions, so preventing whiplash could reduce the number of concussions.

The Halo shirt, made of a nylon and spandex blend, provides postural support for athletes like a traditional compression shirt, without affecting the range of motion or mobility. The core technology lies with the shirt’s collar, made from a closed-cell viscoselastic polymer foam. During normal play, the material remains soft and flexible, providing neck support, but not limiting motion. Upon impact, however, the material stiffens, slowing the rate of whiplash motion of the head and neck up to 46 per cent. This reduces the risk of concussion. The collar is held into place by a silicone lining, which sticks to the skin.

Aexos has spent the last 3 years developing the shirt, partnering with medical professionals, engineers and manufacturers from various countries. The shirt has both been recognised for sport and military applications. The shirt is available with and without sleeves, and in various youth and adult sizes.

You can currently support the Halo shirt through Kickstarter.

Photos: Aexos