allaudet University, known for educating the deaf and hard-of-hearing, is testing a cutting-edge football helmet in collaboration with AT&T. The helmet leverages 5G connectivity to visually signal plays to athletes in real-time, leveling the playing field for deaf players who often struggle to receive coach instructions.
During a game against Hilbert College, the quarterback was able to see play calls from a virtual playbook inside the helmet. The technology also displayed an alert when the coach had more instructions using American Sign Language. This innovation seeks to eliminate communication gaps that deaf and hard-of-hearing athletes face, potentially providing opportunities for their broader participation in sports.
This project comes after about two years of development and testing by AT&T and Gallaudet. The lightweight and safe helmet was used in practices and scrimmages, ensuring it didn't interfere with gameplay. The helmet's 5G connectivity guarantees instant communication, which is essential in sports.
AT&T is exploring future applications for this technology in collaboration with the NCAA and considering its use in fields where helmets are used, like emergency response. This innovative helmet opens up new possibilities for athletes who rely on visual cues and timely instructions.