WMU Team Wins Small Business Award; Tech For Safer Helmets
Safer football helmets and less brain injuries could be the result of a start-up company started by a WMU professor and students that has been honored as a 2019 SmartZone Best Small Business.
"housed in the WMed Innovation Center--launched in 2014, but it was born in a WMU engineering lab years earlier. (Dr. Binu Baby) Narakathu was a doctoral student at the time. He and three other students worked with faculty adviser and company co-founder Dr. Massood Atashbar, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, to develop technology that, when incorporated in a football helmet, could measure the location and intensity of blows to the head. At a time when football concussions were beginning to make headlines, the concept quickly garnered interest. At this point, SafeSense has developed prototypes, performed field tests, formed a strategic partnership and is anticipating product launch," . -WMU release
Narakathu says "growing the company to its current position and receiving the SmartZone award demonstrates industry acceptance--the first big step toward revenue. The sensors have potential for more than just injury detection. They have the ability to enhance sports performance, as well.
According to the WMU release, SafeSense is on track to begin commercially marketing its sensor system for helmets in 2020.