Starting at a young age, aspiring football players suit up and learn that scoring the game-winning touchdown, sacking a QB or kicking a pigskin through the uprights are things of beauty. Unfortunately, those fun, fulfilling acts also come with the risk of deadly head injuries. In the last decade, growing concern over cranial injuries at both the pro and amateur level has spawned waves of research and safety innovations. Perhaps the greatest so far has been the Reebok CheckLight. Partnering with MC10, Reebok has taken the guesswork of head injuries, helping coaches, parents and referees protect players.
The CheckLight captures the crucial data that occurs in the milliseconds before, during and after impact trauma to the head. The skull cap can be comfortably worn with or without a helmet during most types of physical activity. Sensors within the cap measure the linear acceleration of the head itself -- as opposed to a helmet or a chinstrap -- and give feedback via a green, yellow and red light on the back of the cap based on the severity of an impact. Perhaps more importantly, the CheckLight records the number of hits a player experiences within the "green", "yellow" and "red" thresholds so that individuals can be monitored and protected over the course of practices, games and seasons. A six-hour battery life provides plenty of juice for pretty much any practice or event.
By shifting the burden away from players and removing the chance of an incorrect assessment of a harmful injury, the CheckLight prevents further damage and provides another layer of defense against tragedy in sports. Three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Hasselbeck currently endorses the product, and we suspect it won't be long before more athletes get in line -- because protecting the noggin is a no-brainer.
Excellence, innovation, craftsmanship, and an unwavering desire to challenge expectations -- these are the constants that have captivated our attention since Gear Patrol's inception in 2007. This year we're proud to announce the next step in our role as a champion of quality in product design and execution: welcome to the GP100. Our inaugural product awards are dedicated to honoring the 100 best consumer products released during the calendar year by companies of all sizes and scope.
The GP100 is not a ranking or a contest. These selections represent the collective expertise of our entire editorial staff, who have scoured every corner of the vast product universe -- from automotive and electronics, to men's style essentials, home goods, spirits and outdoors -- to find the inspiring and the practical, the ground-breaking and the traditional, the priceless and the accessible. In short: products that define or defy their respective categories to better the life of the modern man.
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