VICIS Unveils Revolutionary Football Helmet

Completely Reimagined Helmet to Be Available for 2016/17 Season

Jan 13, 2016, 08:00 ET from VICIS

SEATTLE, Jan. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- VICIS unveils the ZERO1™, a revolutionary football helmet designed to more effectively absorb impact forces. The first major advance in football helmets in decades, the ZERO1 features an outer shell that yields upon impact like a car bumper. The helmet will be available to select NFL and NCAA football teams this spring and will be worn in competition during the 2016/17 season.

The ZERO1 delivers multiple, long-overdue innovations. The most important advancement is its novel four-layer construction. The helmet's multiple layers work together to provide improved impact absorption and a comfortable, anatomically optimized fit:

  1. LODE Shell™ – Unlike today's market-leading helmets that are limited by hard exterior shells, the outer shell of the ZERO1 yields upon impact like a car bumper. During a collision, the LODE Shell gives way then rapidly returns to form before the next impact. This dynamic process slows impact forces, completes in milliseconds, and is invisible to the naked eye.
  2. Core Layer™ – The ZERO1's unique columnar layer is designed to absorb impacts from any direction, allowing it to slow forces from straightforward collisions or glancing blows. The columnar geometry used in the CORE Layer is based upon engineering principles first described in the 18th century by Swiss physicist, Leonhard Euler. The ZERO1's columns have been specifically tuned to optimally respond to impact velocities observed in elite levels of football.
  3. ARCH Shell™ – This thin, hard inner shell is designed for both protection and fit. Its unique shape results from extensive analysis of head-size data of NFL and NCAA players. Multiple ARCH Shell sizes facilitate an outstanding fit without the uncomfortable pressure points found in today's leading helmets.  
  4. FORM Liner™ – An interior comfort liner is designed to work in concert with the ARCH Shell to provide exceptional fit and comfort. The FORM Liner features advanced memory foam that conforms to the unique head shape and topography of each player. The liner is soft, waterproof, and easy to clean. Multiple liner sizes are available to enable a precise and comfortable fit.

The VICIS ZERO1 also brings innovations in the helmet fitting process, enabling equipment managers to offer a highly customized fit for each player. Current fitting processes are based primarily on head circumference – they do not account for individual differences in head length and width. The VICIS AXIS Fit System™ incorporates head length and breadth measurements, offers advancements in precision and flexibility, and eliminates the need for awkward and unreliable shims and air bladders. The AXIS Fit System is a step forward in fitting methodology.

The ZERO1 results from more than two years of intense development during which VICIS worked closely with elite equipment managers and athletic trainers. Their input guided many of the features found in the ZERO1. VICIS engineers and neurosurgeons completely reimagined the football helmet, thoughtfully considering every detail including maintenance and usability:

  • Use of an exterior shell material that withstands extreme temperatures and can be easily painted, cleaned, and decaled
  • Inclusion of best-in-class components which come standard on the ZERO1, including snaps and chinstraps from SportStar
  • Incorporation of quick-release mechanisms for emergency removal that require no special tools

The ZERO1 will launch with a portfolio of today's most popular facemask configurations. VICIS facemasks are constructed with flush welds, providing a smoother, more aerodynamic look and better visibility than today's leading facemasks.

"For more than two years, our team of neurosurgeons and engineers has worked closely with equipment managers and athletic trainers to design and build a superior football helmet," said Dave Marver, CEO of VICIS. "The ZERO1 offers advancements in safety and performance that are long overdue."

The basic technologies in the ZERO1 originated at the University of Washington (UW) as a collaboration between the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Neurological Surgery. VICIS is UW's commercial partner and the global, exclusive licensee of the resulting intellectual property. The VICIS helmet design allowed UW to be named a Final Winner of the Head Health Challenge II, an effort to identify and support promising preventive technologies sponsored by the NFL, Under Armour and GE.

VICIS was created in 2013 to develop an improved football helmet. The company leverages technology initially developed at University of Washington. VICIS investors include several prominent spine and neurological surgeons, current and former NFL players, the W Fund, Alliance of Angels, angelMD and Trilogy Equity Partners. VICIS founders are Per Reinhall, PhD, Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering at UW; Samuel Browd, MD, PhD, Pediatric Neurosurgeon and Medical Director of the Sports Concussion Program at Seattle Children's Hospital; and Dave Marver, CEO and veteran of the medical technology industry. Inquiries can be directed to For more information, visit