SEI is pleased to announce that, as of May 7th, 2020, the company has licensed the rights from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) to a patent for a device designed to protect shoulders from contact-related injuries. The intellectual property utilizes SEI’s suite of SmartSpringTM technologies.
SEI believes that the device invented by Professors Christopher Brown and Tiffiny Butler, and WPI engineering students is a novel, superior way to address injury protection.
Collision sports, like football, ice hockey, and men’s lacrosse, where contact with other players is intended as part of the game, have high occurrences of upper-body injuries, specifically to the shoulder. It is important to understand the mechanisms of shoulder injuries to improve protective equipment. A 16-year long epidemiology study of collegiate injuries for 15 sports found that player-to-player contact was the leading cause of injury, followed by other forms of contact, such as with the playing surface. The same study found that upper extremity injuries are the second most common after lower extremity injuries.
The newly licensed patent application, “Shoulder Protective Device,” is designed primarily for use in these collision sports. The technology described in this patent maximizes load mitigation and dispersal. Conventional shoulder padding technology uses a combination of foam and harder polymers as a barrier between loads and shoulders. When foam compresses completely, it is unavailable for further absorption. Conversely, SEI technology uses the space that would be occupied by fully compressed foam, for further absorption. Tunable, nonlinear springs are integrated into the shoulder pads to distribute impacts, through a system of tethers.
SEI has now licensed an issued patent, a continuation in part (CIP), 2 provisional patents, and 7 worldwide pending patents from WPI.
ABOUT SPORTS ENGINEERING, INC.
Sports Engineering, Inc (SEI) is a sports technology company that specializes in identifying, developing, and commercializing innovative and disruptive inventions, and associated intellectual property. The Company owns the exclusive marketing and manufacturing rights to the SmartSpring™ suite of technologies developed by Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).