The Contego, designed by University of Brighton student Nik Hannay, carries sensors that pick up changes to skull pressure and switches on a red light if a concussion is detected.
It also flashes red if there are signs of serious injury, a university spokesman said.
Players and referees would instantly see the light and call for medical assistance, and coaches and doctors on the touchline would be alerted by a signal to laptops, tablets and smart phones.
Mr Hannay, 24, who is in his final year of a sustainable product design degree, came up with the idea during a visit to America.
His research revealed 100,000 concussion injuries in the National Football League every year, 60% from head-to-head clashes.
He has developed Contego mainly for American football players, but said there is potential for the technology to be used in sports such as boxing, cycling, lacrosse and ice hockey.