5G Helmet Levels Playing Field for Deaf Football Players
AT&T and Gallaudet University, which serves deaf and hard of hearing students, have introduced a 5G football helmet aimed at enhancing on-field communications.
The helmet was scheduled to first be used in a recent home game against Hilbert College. Gallaudet University is in Washington, D.C.
Operation of the helmet is straightforward: The coach selects a play on a tablet. The play is sent via the 5G network to a lens inside a player’s helmet, which displays via an augmented reality screen. The 5G platform works fast enough to keep pace with the game, according to the press release.
The technology aims to reduce penalties and miscommunications and equalize the playing field — both literally and figuratively – between players with hearing and those who can’t hear or whose hearing is impaired.
“Together with Gallaudet, we are proving that connecting changes everything,” Corey Anthony, the senior vice president of network engineering and operations at AT&T, said in a press release. “Our expertise in connectivity combined with Gallaudet’s legacy of breaking down barriers, has created a helmet that not only transforms the way deaf and hard of hearing athletes engage in sports but opened up endless possibility for innovation.”
AT&T says that Gallaudet, whose nickname is The Bisons, is credited with inventing the huddle. AT&T is donating $500,000 to the school’s football program and is giving all the players a new helmet.
AT&T says that the system can be used for any sport that requires a helmet and has ramifications for hearing-challenged people in the general workforce.