By Bill Bradley, contributing editor
While Schutt Sports officials are proud of their breakthroughs in football-helmet padding, there's one new product that has the company streaming and beaming.
Schutt has created the helmet camera, a.k.a. Schutt Vision. It's a full-contact helmet with a built-in HD video system that records from field-level angles.
"It has the chance to revolutionize the way football practices are run," said Glenn Beckmann, director of marketing communications for Schutt, "The entire camera fits in the nose bumper on the helmet. The electronics fit inside the cushioning. It's NOCSAE compliant. It's the first helmet with a camera you can wear in a game."
That's against NCAA rules, but about 30 NCAA Division I college football teams have been using them in practices. Schools like Clemson, LSU and Texas Tech have integrated the device into their coaching tools.
"You can identify the fronts and when we are pointing out (middle linebackers) and stuff like that, because usually the eyes are looking where he's pointing," Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley told Tribune Review earlier this month. "You can see the direction the head is at the snap. It's interesting technology. It's a neat concept. We haven't done a whole bunch with it, but the technology is phenomenal. If not for anything else, it forces the player that has it on to be on his P's and Q's."
Beckmann said he has been getting rave reviews from other pro and college coaches.
"It's already shaping the way coaches are coaching," Beckmann said. "They can see what their quarterbacks are seeing. They can see what their linebackers are keying on.
"The head has to follow the eyes. So if they're looking somewhere that they're not supposed to be looking, the coaches can see that."
As the Arena League has shown, Beckmann said Schutt Vision could change the games are televised.
"On the public side of the game, can you imagine sitting in the stadium and being able to see this point of view through your smart device in your hand?" Beckmann said. "Imagine Matt Stafford throwing a pass up in the air and they switch the view to Calvin Johnson's helmet camera looking up at the ball as the catches it.
"It's dazzling. It's a fantastic experience. I see that really, truly revolutionizing the way games are broadcast."