Wearable Impact Sensor

Note: with serious and intentional regard for our customers’ privacy and respect for their intellectual property, we do not mention the name of the company or the product in this case study.

The Customer:

A producer of cutting-edge products including a lightweight device integrated into the mouthguard worn by athletes during games and practices. This sensor uses advanced technology to detect and measure the impact forces experienced during various sporting activities. The device continually monitors and records data related to head impact and sends this information to a connected device or a sideline monitoring system via Bluetooth.

The Challenge:

The product was subjected to a very challenging molding process and was experiencing lower than expected yields in production.   Additionally, field failures were attributed to damage caused by the user. Reliability was a big concern, and the results and reporting were inconsistent.

The responsibility that falls on the shoulders of the company producing the product is immense. It is crucial for both the manufacturers and consumers to prioritize safety and accuracy when it comes to these monitoring systems, as the consequences of failure are simply too grave to ignore.

The PICA Solution:​

After analyzing the design PICA engineering determined that the original Rigid Flex Board’s Construction allowed too many vulnerable stress points at which the product could fail when subjected to stress. The PICA team recommended changing the design to pure flex construction with selective stiffeners and included some minor outline changes.  Additional protection was provided in the form of custom encapsulation in the rigidized areas to protect the vulnerable components. This resulted in a much more durable and robust product.   The improved performance in the field gave the customer the confidence to produce the device in production and introduce it to the market with a commercial release.

The Result:

The product technology has resulted in a mandate by one of the more prominent international professional sport leagues, and the customer was selected as the impact monitoring device of choice.