Home - Brain - Method for Assessing Helmet Fit Might Protect Against Concussions
Research Brief

Method for Assessing Helmet Fit Might Protect Against Concussions

A cost-effective, high-resolution technique called photogrammetry creates 3-D models of heads and helmets to analyze their alignment.

Janelle Weaver, Contributor
Thursday, May 10, 2018


Impact safety tests for commercially available ice hockey helmets are typically performed with a surrogate headform. But human head shapes are not uniform, and very few standards exist for fitting a helmet for the common user. If helmet fit could be quantified and improved, it may help reduce the risk of concussion for players.

To address this problem, researchers recently developed a cost-effective, high-resolution method to assess the fit of ice hockey helmets. In a study published April 17 in the Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology, researchers from Montreal's McGill University used a technique called photogrammetry to create 3-D models of heads and helmets and to analyze their alignment. This technique is performed by taking a series of photographs around an object and using computer-aided software to generate the 3-D surface of the object.

Using a high-resolution camera, the researchers took photos of participants’ heads and five helmet models from various manufacturers, and recorded videos of the participants rotating on a chair while wearing each of the helmets. A total of 150 photographs were taken for each head and helmet, and these photos were used to generate high-resolution 3-D models. These models were then aligned using lower-resolution intermediate 3-D models of participants wearing the helmets. The researchers measured the amount of gap or compression between the head and the helmet, and also administered a fit questionnaire for each helmet.

According to the authors, using photogrammetry to quantify helmet fit could optimize the comfort of ice hockey players while protecting them from traumatic brain injuries.

Filed under: