Artificial intelligence and sport: mouthguards are increasingly connected

Mouth guards, which have the role of preventing a sudden closing of the jaws during a violent impact, not only protect the teeth, they also reduce the risk of fracture of the jaw, concussion, injuries cervical vertebrae or loss of consciousness. Several models of smart mouthguards have been tested in the world of rugby, the IBA (International Boxing Association) announces a new technology offering better protection for athletes but which could also provide support to judges in their decision-making.

Artificial intelligence and sports

Artificial intelligence is increasingly used to measure sports performance, connected watches are very popular with the general public. Databases and algorithms allow high-level players and football and rugby clubs, etc. to analyze their opponents’ strategies, their own game to improve it but also to prevent injuries.

For the next Olympic Games in 2024, in Paris, the government has also bet on AI and deep learning and launched the “Very High Performance Sport” (STHP) Priority Research Program (PPR), endowed with 20 million euros, financed by the PIA and scientifically managed by the CNRS. The call for expressions of interest was launched in February 2019.

Innovative mouth guards

In 2014, Anthony Gonzales and Bob Merriman designed FITGuard (Force Impact Technologies Guard), a connected mouth guard to prevent concussions. Indeed, sportsmen in the game of action do not necessarily measure the violence of the blow received. This is precisely what FITGuard is intended for: an LED lamp placed in front of this mouth guard lights up in different colors depending on the violence of the impact, red indicating a risk of concussion, the data is sent to the smartphone.

Several much more innovative mouthguards are currently being studied by World Rugby. Thus, the ASM Clermont Auvergne was chosen to test at the professional level those of the American company Prevent Biometrics which measure the frequency and intensity of the shocks received during training and matches. The jaws of the players are scanned to make these custom-made mouthguards where a chip is integrated which transfers the data collected by the accelerometer which also equips them.

On the other hand, several Premiership teams are testing PROTECHT, another connected system, designed to fight against concussions.

The IBA Mouthguard

The International Boxing Association has announced the successful testing of a new mouth guard that would offer boxers better protection but also more accurate judging. It integrates an accelerometer, a gyroscope and a transmitter.

During the Junior Boxing Championships 2022 which took place recently in Sofia, sportsmen wore it, the data collected is treated anonymously. They are accessible in real time to the doctors present during the fighting, which allows them to better estimate the risks of trauma.

Judges can also use this data to evaluate fights but, according to the IBA, even when it is fully finalized, this technology is not intended to replace them.

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Artificial intelligence and sport: mouthguards are increasingly connected

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