LSU testing football helmets with built-in fans in effort to fight coronavirus
BATON ROUGE - Researchers at LSU have patented new technology designed to improve airflow for athletes in the event face shields become necessary in the fight against the coronavirus.
On Thursday, the university announced the development of a modular device that can be fitted into most off-the-shelf protective helmets, including those used for football. The university says the fan-powered device would help better circulate air for players wearing face shields, which can make it hard for them to see and breathe.
While such face shields are not currently mandated, LSU researchers are confident their new technology can help mitigate those negative effects if they become widely used.
"This newly developed technology, meanwhile, leverage the existing passive air vents near the back of the helmet by making them active, sucking air into the helmet with small battery-driven fans attached to a set of flexible tubing," the university's announcement read in part. "The tubes can be customized and mounted to the inside of the helmet to direct air wherever it’s needed, usually forward and downward over the face, toward a visor or plastic face shield. For increased safety, N95 filter materials can be added at the intake."
Researchers believe the airflow created by the device will also make it more difficult for foreign particles to make their way behind the face shield.
LSU has licensed the new tech to the Louisiana sports technology startup Tigeraire that is looking into commercial production for various sports.
You can read more about it here.