Multi-directional Impact Protection System
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Multi-directional Impact Protection System, MIPS, is a technology that allows a helmet slide relative to the head, adding more protection against rotational violence to the brain caused by angled impacts. It was developed by biomechanical specialists at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), in Stockholm, Sweden. MIPS is a form of slip plane technology, meaning that a MIPS helmet is constructed from two layers that rotate against each other, mimicking the rotation of the brain’s own cerebrospinal fluid, which is the body’s natural defense against oblique impacts.
The outer layer of a MIPS helmet is made from the same impact-absorbing EPS material as a conventional helmet. It’s connected via an elastomeric attachment system to a low friction inner layer, which is what rests on the rider’s head. In a crash, the outer shell of a MIPS helmet absorbs linear impact, while the inner layer rotates up to 5mm, absorbing rotational impact. This small rotation of the liner relative to the shell results in a significant reduction of the forces on the brain, which reduces the likelihood of concussion and other brain injury.
In 1995 Swedish neurosurgeon Hans von Holst began evaluating the general construction of helmets. Following several years of study and work related to head trauma for the World Health Organization in Geneva, he determined existing helmet technology provided inadequate protection against brain trauma – with devastating consequences for victims of brain injuries. Together with Royal Institute of Technology researcher Peter Halldin, von Holst developed a technology that would provide a significantly more effective protection against head trauma. After thoroughly evaluating the brain anatomy, physiology, and combining their years of testing and expertise, von Holst and Halldin produced what is now known as the Multi-directional Impact Protection System, a technology that mimics the brain’s own protective structure.
The company MIPS AB was founded in 2001 by five specialists in biomechanics of the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden.
Following its inception in 2001, MIPS AB evolved from concept to product, introducing the technology in an equestrian helmet 2007. As MIPS made significant expansions internationally, its unique branding was shaped in 2009 giving the Stockholm-based company a clear and distinct identity in logo and all online platforms.
Beginning in 2010, MIPS AB took on the bike and snow helmet industry, gaining widespread recognition and the technology was increasingly adopted by motocross, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, and other sports industries where head trauma is common. As the awareness level of head trauma injuries has recently increased, so, too, have the awareness and benefits of technology such as MIPS.
In 2013, Peter Halldin and Daniel Lanner from MIPS AB, Richard Coomber from Revision Military, Inc, Montreal Canada, and Sven Kleiven from KTH published a paper describing both a numerical and an experimental approach to measuring the blunt-impact protection offered by military helmets.
In early 2014, one of the world’s largest helmet manufacturers, BRG Sports, Inc and MIPS AB entered into a formal partnership after several years of sharing their technology, offering MIPS technology to a much wider global audience. Since then, MIPS AB has added several new brands to its catalog and has expanded to the American, European and Chinese markets.
In the end of 2015, MIPS produced its millionth layer.