FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A group of South Florida middle schoolers will soon have their own app after coming up with a device that can help keep young athletes safe.
Five 7th graders from Pine Crest Middle School teamed up with an app inventor from MIT to create a ground-breaking app, aimed at detecting and preventing concussions during high-impact sports: The Force Transmission Data Collector.
“Our proposed solution is to house sensors that take force inside our football helmets,” said John Kolletis.
“The players, they all want to just play,” said Mary Elizabeth Gabrielle. “They’re not gonna say, ‘Oh, I have an injury, take me out.'”
The whiz kids demonstrated to 7News how the device works in real-time, by watching the lines go up on the spreadsheet every time the helmet is hit.
“Right now, the spreadsheet is receiving the wireless data from the sensors when I tap it,” said Trey Santarelli, “and it’s being put on the spreadsheet for interpretations, so when someone gets tackled, gets hit on the head or gets whipped into the ground, it will show up on the sensor charge, and you will be able to analyze it.”
The project was all part of a national competition called Verizon Innovative App Challenge. The South Florida kids were named one of nine winners across the country, earning them $20,000 and a trip to the NFL annual meetings in Boca Raton in March.
“The coaches will be able to tell how much force players have received, in order to tell when they may receive injuries and help prevent brain injuries,” said Trey Santarelli.
The kids toured the league’s technology exhibit and met with executives and doctors from the NFL Health and Safety committee. “I think this might impact the world if it’s widespread,” said Kolletis.
The kids came up with the idea for the app after learning about a number of concussion-related deaths and injuries among high school football players last year.
The app will be available for download on Google Play, June 1. It’s not available on the Apple, App Store, however.
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