ARCO is a worn head-guard and neck collar device that monitors player impacts. It prevents against secondary impact syndrome during amateur rugby union matches, as well as using protection and jugular vein compression to reduce brain damage and its effects on players.
The Neck collar is a jugular vein compression device that is incorporated into a a headguard for security. Jugular vein compression increases the players blood volume in their brain by applying light pressure on the sides of the neck. This method is proven in NFL to reduce harmful internal movement that causes brain injury by up to 80%.
The neck collar also incorporates an impact sensor that measures all player impacts in G’s and the direction of the force. This data is then relayed back to an app.
The headguard secures the neck collar in place but it also is made up of 5 material layers that absorbs some of the collision impact and acceleration before it transfers to the players head.
The headguard incorporates a red warning light that illuminates when a high risk impact has been registered by the impact sensor in the neck collar. This warning light can be seen by all players, coaches, referees and medical staff who can then quickly remove the player from the pitch for a SCAT-5 head assessment.
The interaction prototype shows how the player would interact with Arco during a match day and how it would fit a player.
The model shows Arco’s warning light and compression collar function as well as aesthetics and ergonomics.
The impact sensor relays all data to an app which players, coaches and medical staff can monitor.
The app relays real time live data during matches that coaches and medical staff can access during the game to monitor players health and concussion risk.
The players and approved staff can also look back on an individuals match data and overall season / lifetime data. This helps a player understand their risks and receive prevention, treatment and awareness information on concussion and brain health.
Prototyping / User Testing
Iterative prototyping was used throughout Arco’s development process. The models were utilised to test and evaluate size, comfort, materials, function and aesthetics.
The models started as old cut up head-guards and cardboard models which developed into my 3D printed and textile prototype.
Data technology was a large part of my projects research process.
The impact sensor used is made up of a rotational and linear accelerometer, tri-axial gyroscope, transmitter, battery and wireless charging. In addition to this is the warning light and receiver.
In the second development stage I created ARCO as a brand specialising in contact sport safety.
Arco aims to portray safety, necessity, simplicity, strength and trust throughout all products and marketing. To do this I created a branding guidelines document.
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