Chris Kluwe: Google Glass for NFL Players to Reduce Concussions

Chris Kluwe, the former Minnesota Vikings punter who has made more of a name for himself as a gay-marriage advocate, now believes the NFL should allow players to wear Google Glass to help reduce concussions. 

He made his comments at a TED conference in Vancouver and an  interview with Forbes. Kluwe, who wore the Google Glass during some of his practices when he tried to make the Raiders last year, suggested that quarterbacks could be alerted when defenders are about to sack them so they could unload the football before getting hit. He even said the Google Glass could help defenders hit opponents properly: 

Say you’re going across the middle and you don’t know there’s a guy coming up to lay you out. An even better example would be that right now defensive players really don’t know where they’re supposed to hit someone. They can’t go high, they can’t go low. It’s like, well, what do we do? With augmented reality, you could be looking at your tackle box: Here’s a green area where you can hit this guy. It’s like an airplane going down on a landing approach, going through the boxes in order to hit the right zone. Now, as a player, you’re lining up on the right zone so you know you’re hitting a spot that will keep both of you safe.

He continued:

They’re already talking about putting stuff like accelerometers and GPS sensors in helmets to measure concussive impacts. If you have something like that in your helmet, say you go on a play where you get cracked going across the middle, now it’s flashing red and telling you, ‘You need to get out of the game. You have a concussion.’ And it’s not just telling you — it’s telling your trainers on the sideline. From a medical perspective, you can diagnose it instantly and prevent those injuries that happen when a player refuses to come out of the game, because no player’s going to take himself out of the game. You risk losing your job.

Kluwe then brought up the Seahawks' drubbing of the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl and said the ratings for the game may have been higher had the Broncos been equipped with the Google Glass technology. 

"It was one of the lower watched Super Bowls of the last few years because no one was watching after the second quarter,” he said. But if the Broncos had had Google Glass technology, Kluwe believes, “Now, all of a sudden, it’s a back-and-forth struggle and people are invested in the outcome.”

The Forbes writer, though, said he had a "hard time buying this scenario, for the reason that I can’t see the NFL allowing technology to influence the outcome of plays to such a significant degree":

After all, the league only just started letting coaches use tablet computers on the sidelines to replace Polaroids and laminated play sheets. Helmet radios have been around for decades but their use is still restricted to one player per side and they have to cut off 15 seconds before the play starts.


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