A new football helmet with an exterior shell that can absorb hits like a car bumper and has four layers of protection has been unveiled by Seattle-based VICIS.

The company introduced the helmet at the AFCA convention in Austin, Texas, this week. The ZERO1 helmet is expected to be available for testing by NCAA and NFL teams this spring with the idea that it will be available for purchase and use for the 2016 football season, according to VICIS CEO Dave Marver.

The unveiling of the helmets comes after two years of research and development by the company. The helmet has its origins in a collaboration between the University of Washington departments of mechanical engineering and neurological surgery.

Marver says the top-of-the-line helmet will cost about $1,500 but there is a more affordable model being designed for high school and youth players to be unveiled in 2017.

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