The games we love are here to stay. Sports like football, hockey, soccer and lacrosse are enmeshed in our athletic culture, and the lessons and joy we take from those pursuits cannot be replaced. But each sport has a significant risk of head trauma for athletes, and it's one that has been overlooked for far too long.

"One of the things we know, without question, is that no head trauma is good head trauma," Dr. Robert Cantu, one of the country's foremost experts on concussions, told ThePostGame. "You cannot condition the brain to take trauma. You can only injure it."

So now that we as a society understand just how dangerous concussions are, it's our collective obligation to provide athletes with technology that can quickly and accurately diagnose an injury.

What medical advancements are researchers using to assess head trauma? What measures can be implemented to prevent concussions before they happen? In this feature, ThePostGame delves into the burgeoning realm of concussion technology and how theory is being put into practice:

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Brooklyn just got a little more hip.

That's because now the borough's only professional sporting team has the coolest app in all of sports. It's call the Barclays Center app, and it can get you just about anything you would need at a basketball game. You can order popcorn from your seats, send photos and messages to the video board and even watch a livestream of the game.

That's right, you can watch a Nets game on your phone while you're at the game. It might sound silly, but it's actually genius.

Thanks to a feature called StadiumVision, fans won't be afraid to leave their seats at crucial moment to pick up food or go to the bathroom. Plus. if you want to see a replay of a play that just happened or get another camera angle, you can pull it up on your phone.

And David Pierce of The Verge writes that StadiumVision engineers have figured out how to have 19,000 people watching video without crashing the system:

"...[I]nstead of everyone having to crowd onto a single connection, the "multicast" connection splits the feed and delivers the same thing individually to everyone. That means my stream is the same whether I'm alone in the stadium or surrounded by 19,000 other Nets fans."

So the Nets have the coolest part-owner, the most advanced app and the most tech-savvy arena in all of basketball. They truly are Brooklyn's team.

(H/T to Sports Grid)

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The coolest new toy in aquatics has arrived in the form of the "Flyboard."

The Flyboard, which was invented by the French company Zapata Racing, is basically a personalized jetpack that allows its users to harness water power and rocket through a body of water.

And there is no one more equipped to bring us footage of this new device than the acclaimed YouTube director Devin Graham. When it comes to shooting action sports, there are few more creative minds than Graham.

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In case you're curious, the Rocky Mountain Flyboard website has a more in-depth explanation of how the contraption works:

"The water pressure created from a personal watercraft (PWC) is redirected through a 55 foot hose that splits into two nozzles right beneath your feet that are pointed down, creating lift. 10% of the thrust is directed to the hand nozzles, allowing you to stabilize your flight."

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We've followed sports from the players', coaches' and sometimes even the referees' perspective.

So what are we missing? The ball's perspective, of course.

How the ball moves, where it goes and who is around it are all things that we've tried but struggled to completely objectify in all different sports. And now an Australian company is looking to answer those questions.

Catapult Sports will be testing out its innovative ball-tracking monitor, SmartBall, this spring in the Australian Football League’s pre-season NAB Cup. The technology combines a sensor inside the ball with fist-sized GPS trackers worn by players to create several types of information that were previously difficult to obtain.

The sensor will allow teams and fans a more complete understanding of how a ball moves throughout the game. How, for example, certain defensive strategies affect ball movement. And how ball movement changes as players tire toward the end of the game.

Using the information obtained by the GPS trackers, trainers will have a better sense of a player's speed, motion and how fatigued he or she is.

The chip weighs roughly half an ounce, so it doesn't drastically affect the weight of the ball. Meanwhile the GPS device is strapped into a vest worn by the players.

If all goes well for Catapult in its Australian test run, sports fans could see the technology enter in the American sports landscape. At least, that's the goal.

"We see the ball tracking as having enormous potential for Australian football and rugby this year, but have our sights on soccer and (American) football in the near future,” Catapult co-founder and COO Igor van de Griendt told Wired. "We’re all pretty excited about where the technology is headed."

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Anthony Davis isn't a flashy scorer, like LeBron James or Kobe Bryant, and he's not a lightning-quick speedster, like Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook.

Rather, Davis' game is about defense and controlling the paint. So to demonstrate all the nuances of the 19-year-old's brilliance, Red Bull used a couple of cutting edge technologies. In the video below, Davis is shot from a "Gazelle" machine, which is normally used to shoot car commercials. The machine moved at over 25 feet per second in order to keep pace with Davis.

Along with the "Gazelle," Red Bull utilized a Phantom Flex camera to film Davis at 500 frames per second. This way viewers can see even Davis' tiniest movements.

Check it out for yourself:

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Despite the medical advancements and spike in concussion awareness during the past few years, the ability to quickly and accurately detect head impact in athletes is severely lacking.

Often, especially at the youth, high school and amateur levels, diagnosis is left up to team physicians or trainers. And while these individuals are extremely valuable and necessary, they are subject to human error.

So a considerable need remains for someone or something that can instantaneously measure head trauma in athletes. Enter i1 Biometrics.

The Connecticut-based information and technology company recently released a new mouthguard which detects both the linear and rotational acceleration of a player's head upon impact. The mouthguard measures where and how hard an athlete got hit and will instantly transfer that information to a computer or smartphone on the sidelines. There, a trainer can analyze the data, and based on how the player is responding as well as his or her head trauma history, that person can decide whether that player should be allowed to stay in the competition.

"You have pitch count to measure the number of pitches thrown by a pitcher to a protect a kid's elbow, but there's nothing that is measuring what we're measuring," i1 Biometrics CEO Lawrence Calcano told ThePostGame. "What's happening to an athlete's brain, arguably the most important organ we have."

Calcano said certain high school and college teams will be testing the mouthguard this spring while i1 Biometrics works with medical and research experts to improve the technology. The company hopes to have the mouthguard ready for wide scale distribution by the time football season rolls around in the fall.

If all goes well, athletes in several contact sports (football, hockey and lacrosse) could use the mouthguard, which costs $150. And ideally -- this is a little ways down the road -- information from a player's mouthguard would be submitted to a cloud database so coaches, parents and trainers would have access to it at all times.

As a former college hockey player himself, and father of a teenage daughter who suffered a serious concussion while playing soccer, Calcano knows the value of sports and the impact they have on millions of children. The task for him and his i1 Biometrics colleagues is to find a way to make these games safer.

"As we think about the prevalence of contact sports in our society, whether it’s football, hockey, lacrosse or soccer, these are games that we love to play," Calcano said. "We as a society love sports and love the lessons that our kids get from sports -- teamwork, comraderie, hard work, etcetera. And we think it would be tragic if we didn’t have these sports to play."

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Anyone who has watched professional athletes warm up before a game has likely seen the large, noise-canceling headphones that have become all the rage in the sporting realm.

These headphones, in particular the brand "Beats by Dr. Dre," have become so popular and widespread among athletes that they caused somewhat of a stir at the London Olympics.

And no athlete is more associated with beats than Miami Heat star LeBron James, who has been wearing them for more than four years.

In a recent ESPN The Magazine feature on James' partnership with the "Beats" brand, J. Freedom Du Lac notes that James' stats have improved noticeably during the seasons that he's worn beats:

"In fact, James has been better, according to almost every statistical measure in the four-plus seasons since he began wearing Beats, than he was in his first five in the league. He has won all three of his NBA Most Valuable Player awards in that period, and he has played in the NBA Finals twice, winning once."

Du Lac spoke with Jimmy Iovine, a co-owner of "Beats by Dr. Dre," who says the noise-canceling headphones can help athletes focus and better prepare themselves for competition.

Even Dr. Greg Dale, the director of sports psychology for Duke athletics, told Du Lac that there might be some merit to the idea that athletes can improve their performance by plugging in to noise-canceling devices.

"The headphones could enhance your ability to drown out external noise and help you focus on what's relevant to you," Dale told Du Lac. "That's critical to consistently high levels of performance. But just because you use this equipment doesn't mean you're going to lock in like LeBron James. He's disciplined himself to get into game mode using music."

So while James was naturally talented before he started listening to "Beats," it appears that if they're used properly, these and other noise-canceling headphones can be advantageous. And in a day and age where some athletes do anything to get ahead, it's not hard to see why everyone wants a pair.

(H/T to BuzzFeed)

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By Alex Glascock
The Active Times

It's time to upgrade your winter (this is the Digital Age, man!) with these smartphone apps that will get you in shape for the season, tell you where the snow is, navigate the slopes with you, bail you out of trouble and even help cure you of those late-season doldrums. About the only thing they won't do, as far as we can tell, is shovel your sidewalks (bummer, right?).

REI Snow Report

You’ll find 72-hour snowfall, base and peak snow depths, firsthand skier accounts, and learn how many lifts are turning at a host of resorts with this free download, which has gotten high marks for its clean, attractive interface and ease of use.
Get It: Free on Android and iPhone.

Winter Survival Kit

While it isn't likely you'll be stranded in a blizzard anytime soon (though you'll probably encounter your fair share of snowy road on the way to the mountain), you can still prepare for it by downloading the Winter Survival Kit. Just press the big red button and your phone turns into an emergency sidekick, determining your location and making it easy to contact emergency services. It will even help you figure how much longer your gas will last (if you're lucky enough to be stranded in a car), as well as offer tips on how to conserve it.
Get It: Free on Android and iPhone.

Ski And Snow Report

Redesigned for the 2012-13 ski season, this free app enables you to select favorite resorts via GPS and receive new-snow notifications when the flakes are flying.
Get It: Free Android and iPhone.


Thanks to WakeMeSki, the days of waking up at dawn for early-morning snow reports are over. All you have to do is program this handy little app with your favorite resorts, new snow threshold, and desired wake-up time before you go to sleep your phone will wake you if fresh snow fell overnight, and continue to keep you updated throughout the day with reports.
Get It: Free on Android.

More Stories At The Active Times:
-- 9 Off-The-Radar Ski And Snowboard Spots
-- Ski Smarts: When To Wax
-- 10 National Park Lodges For The Winter
-- Endangered Ski Areas

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