A product design student from Edinburgh Napier University is hoping his unique hockey glove – which can flag up the risk of a player sustaining a hand injury – could change the way teams prepare for big matches.
Matt Taylor, a 22-year-old Scotland and Great Britain youth international, came up with the idea while watching outfield teammates take knocks to the back of the hand during training.
The glove uses a gel material commonly found in pocket hand warmers, which changes colour from white to orange when it’s struck. Players can then log the number of hits on a Pro-Tect app and use the data to monitor the likelihood of repeated blows developing into a more serious injury.
Matt said: “It came about from seeing teammates getting injured in training the same way and missing out on big matches.
“I looked into the stats behind it and found that people knew about the problem. It made me think about how we could find a solution to it.
“I’d hope it could help people change the way they prepare for matches, or even change the way they play to reduce the chance of getting injured.”
After years of playing hockey as a goalkeeper, Edinburgh Napier’s BDes Product Design has allowed Matt to combine his two passions.
He added: “When I took it to my teammates, they liked the idea. Of course, they immediately turned it into a competition – trying to see who could take the fewest number of hits in a certain part of their hand for example.
“The opportunity to actually make things is what I enjoy the most. It’s what you learn the most from. One surprise is that I’ve had to become quite good with a sewing machine!
“Hockey gives me another focus, somewhere I can forget about everything else and enjoy playing. It’s been great to be able to use it for this project.”
Matt’s working prototype, which he has trialled while practising hockey, is part of his display at this year’s Degree Show at the university.