Hockey season is in full swing and with the Winter Classic rapidly approaching, I thought it would be appropriate to take a look at some relevant patents surrounding the equipment necessary to hit the ice. By utilizing the ktMINE Search Application, I found recent patents on the structure of the hockey helmet, skates, sticks, and the goal detection system.
Adjustable Hockey Helmet
To start, the Adjustable Hockey Helmet patent was published on October 12th, 2021. The applicant, Bauer Hockey LLC, set forth parameters to improve the structure and comfortability of the hockey helmet. This patent covers a helmet that is composed of two shells, a front shell, and a rear shell. The rear shell is stationary, while the front shell can be adjusted lengthwise to better fit the wearer. Once the helmet has been adjusted to size, an anchoring mechanism holds straps in place to prevent movement or unwanted adjustments during play. The anchoring mechanism is unique because it can be placed on either the front shell or rear shell.
The patent on Skates, also owned by Bauer Hockey LLC, was published on January 26th, 2021. This patent includes the composition of a skate boot as well as a skating device (blade) to be attached to the underside of the boot. The skate is designed to be constructed via molding, allowing the enhancement of performance-based characteristics such as range of motion, comfort, and reduced weight. The molding-based production also increases the cost-effectiveness of manufacturing.
Hockey Stick with Nanofiber Reinforcement
The final equipment patent, Hockey Stick With Nanofiber Reinforcement, currently owned by Bauer Hockey LLC and published on August 8th, 2021, covers a method of constructing a hockey stick by utilizing multiple layers of fiber tape and a reinforcing nanofiber material. The nanofiber component is melded into the blade of the stick and enhances the strength and durability of the bonds between the fiber tape. The nanofiber may also include carbon nanotubes, which are manufactured to have a strong yet flexible structure, an important component to possess during fast-paced play on the ice. The flex aspect of the stick can differ by user and preference, but most often is decided upon based on the height and weight of the user.
Finally, the Enhanced infrared hockey puck and goal detection system patent, published on December 2nd, 2021, and owned by Glo-Flite, simplifies the way goals are detected and scored. This system is set to automatically detect goals during hockey play. The infrared system is mounted within a hockey goal, creating a detection area. The puck, also fitted with infrared sensors, communicates with the goal detection area. When the puck enters the goal, the system allows for a goal to be counted without the need for referee intervention. In addition, the sensors held within the puck enable the tracking of statistical information of goal events, such as puck speed and location. This data can be transmitted to remote devices to better analyze player and game effectiveness.
The preceding patents have made the game of hockey what it is today, and speak to the future of the game with emerging technologies. The implementation of new patents, technology, and processes will help push hockey to new and exciting levels.