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Friday, July 13, 2012
Brain bucket

The new Scott Rove helmet, with MIPS technology.

Sweden is known for producing smartly-designed products with a focus on safety (see: Volvo). So it's no surprise that when a Swedish neurosurgeon and a researcher at Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology teamed up, the result was a revolutionary new helmet system aimed at reducing an athlete's risk of head injury.

The product, which first debuted in 2001, is called the Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, or MIPS. The helmet was created to help protect from the types of falls where your head hits at an angle -- the rotation of the brain from this type of collision can cause the most severe kind of traumatic brain injury, according to researchers.

In years past, MIPS has been available in helmets from POC, RED Burton, Lazer and TSG. The system is lesser known in the ski world and it's gaining traction in motor and other action sports. But starting this fall, Scott Sports -- a major player in ski and snowboard helmets -- will be introducing MIPS technology into two helmets: the Chase and the Rove.

The two Scott helmets look like standard issue, but under the surface, there's a low-friction layer between the outer shell and the liner that helps absorb that rotational energy during crashes.

"It is the most natural evolution for us to join forces with world leading sporting goods companies as SCOTT -- these companies are global leaders in sporting goods, MIPS is the global leader in helmet safety," said MIPS CEO Niklas Steenberg. "It's the inevitable marriage between ultimate sports and ultimate helmet safety technology."