Meet the 30+ Innovations That Could Improve The USAF Helmet

photo-1455849318743-b2233052fcff.jpeg

Recently, AFWERX — the Air Force’s visionary program dedicated to solving some of the toughest problems they face via collaborations between the nation’s top intrapreneurs, industry experts, academic professionals, and non-traditional contributors — asked for innovators to submit components, materials, or technologies that could specifically improve the USAF Helmet used by its pilots and aircrew.

And on November 14th, the 30+ solutions it chose from the 100+ submitted will be featured as part of AFWERX’s grand exhibition at Enclave Las Vegas that is completely open to the public — and which you can RSVP to here.

Taking on all aspects of USAF Helmet, these finalists have proposed ideas that run the gamut of awe-inspiring innovation.

For example, Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) has already been awarded two patents by the United States Patent & Trademark Office wants to reimagine the audio component of the helmet by incorporating incorporate 3D Audio, while Sonitus Technologies is touting an integrated NFMI based audio-interface communication system that is a safe, comfortable two-way communicator worn as a tiny mouthpiece that clips to the tooth. Meanwhile, Zorb Touch wants to replace audio alarms with haptic feedback across multiple locations inside of a helmet, which would enable a pilot to feel real-time sensor alerts and the location of threats, obstacles, or waypoints without distracting their vision or hearing.

When it comes to safety, Hedgemon is developing biomimetic platform impact protection technology inspired by hedgehog quills, HitGard’s impact-reducing split-shell technology looks to reduce risk of head injury by reducing linear/rotational brain acceleration, and Dilitant is focusing on straps that incorporate a Non-Newtonian fluid where the shear viscosity increases with applied shear stress. Bearing down on every last detail, Tool Inc is focused on screwless retention systems, while Vicis proposes to develop a self-adjusting chin strap that fits comfortably on an airmen's chin and allows them to eat, talk, and perform normal operations easily yet tightening in the event of an ejection.

More internally-focused, Corsair, Eastman, Bell Racing, and Mantel Technologies are reimagining radically new and improved helmet liners, as Spotlight Labs and Devali and Sempulse are concentrating on monitoring and studying biometric and physiological performance data, changes in body homeostasis, and hypoxia/hypoxia-like events.

We’ve listed out all of the participating innovators below. Come see all these remarkable innovations by RSVPing here or come on Wednesday and register at the door.