This month Gallaudet University, a school for the deaf and hard of hearing, unveiled their football team's new augmented reality helmet. Deaf players cannot hear plays called by the coach, placing them at a disadvantage; but the new 5G-connected helmet, developed in collaboration with AT&T, contains a small lens in front of the player's right eye. When the coach taps in a play on his or her tablet, it's transmitted to the helmet and communicated on the lens.
Here's how it works:
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"I believe in a few years everyone from the NCAA to NFL will be using this technology," says GU Athletic Director Warren Keller. And GU says the technology has the potential for improving a lot more than athletic outcomes:
"According to AT&T, the applications for a 5G-connected helmet have reach beyond college football. It could open possibilities of inclusion for any sport that requires helmets. But even more possibility exists in any environment where there is a need for a helmet and instant communication. Could a 5G-connected helmet improve safety on construction sites or for first responders — and even potentially lead to more job opportunities for the deaf community?"
For now, this is not a production item; AT&T donated the helmets to GU, and there's no word on cost. But the company says they've gained approval to trial the helmet in an upcoming NCAA game.
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