Normally, a new football helmet will set your program back a two or three hundred dollars, while a top of the line product could run you anywhere between $500-$700. That's what coaches have come to expect when ordering and researching new helmets.
But that will soon change when VICIS helmets, a new player with a "revolutionary" design aimed at making collisions safer, hit the market with an initial price tag of $1,500 per lid. VICIS CEO Dave Marver has told numerous outlets that they fully intend on getting the price down to appeal to the high school and youth markets however until more is known about the final design as well as the demand, firm pricing will not be available.
What makes this helmet different, and "safer"? Well, it starts with that hard outer shell of the helmet...VICIS replaced that with a shell that has been modeled after a car bumper with a structure underneath that has never been in a helmet before.
“We don’t have that hard polycarbonate shell,” Vicis CEO Dave Marver told people in attendance at the October GeekWire Summit while showing off the product. “We have a multi-layered system with a novel outer shell material and a novel engineered structure. We’ve redesigned the helmet from scratch to provide protection against not just skull fracture, but from traumatic brain injury or concussion.”
Instead of the air bladders or foam that you'd find in other helmets, VICIS models rely on a four-layer design that includes two separate shells. The exterior shell will absorb impact, and the interior shell is aimed at proper fitting. In between the two shells are absorbent columns that absorb hits from every conceivable angle. The innermost layer of the helmet is made of memory foam to help create a customized fit.
The picture below offers a great look,
In talking with some of the guys at their booth down at the convention, we learned that VICIS won't have any helmets ready until April at the absolute earliest, and we understand the exact date is still a moving target.
While they may not have a product ready to hit the field yet, they are certainly capturing the attention of the football safety market. GeekWire pointed out a last week that the new startup has earned over $8 million dollars from more than 140 investors.
VICIS has a number of NFL players endorsing the helmet already (including Doug Baldwin and Marques Colston) as well as some NFL legends like Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett who have invested in the product. Couple that with some prominent spine surgeons in their corner, and you can see why the new technology has lots of people talking.
Learn more about the VICIS Zero1 model in the video below.