A normal bike helmet? Of course not.
Cyclists should gear up for improved rides with smart helmets. From those with lights built in, to those with heart-rate monitoring capabilities and everything in between. Unlike other wearable fitness gadgets, smart helmets set themselves apart with their ability to work in rain or shine, cold or hot weather and always remaining comfortable.
Essential reading: Best GPS devices and tracking wearables for cycling
With their ability to automatically send out messages in case of emergency, these helmets are also proving that wearable technology is a new reality in safety.
Read on for a few of our favorites.
The LifeBEAM Smart Helmet does a lot of things. It monitors heart rate, counts your calories, gives you an analysis of your performance and protects your head in case you fall. Initially developed to monitor the vital signs of pilots and astronauts, the smart helmet was only recently introduced to the rest of the world as a wearable fitness device.
The technology inside the helmet reads pulse signals directly from your forehead as you ride. Two light beams are transmitted to the skin and the reflection is measured in an electro-optical cell. A 3D accelerometer measures changes in direction and velocity. Algorithms then remove the ‘motion-generated noise’, and process all of the data in real time.
Riders who use heart rate and are in the market for a new helmet should definitely give this one a close look. Rather bizarrely, the company also sells a smart hat and even a smart visor! They feature all the sensors of the helmet and are designed for active sports.
Livall Bling Helmet is smart because it has built-in Windbreak Mic, 3-axis G-sensor, Bluetooth Speaker and LEDs on the top and back of the helmet.
Think stereo bluetooth speakers and a windproof mic for handsfree phone calls. This means you can enjoy your ride without worrying people may not be able to reach you. When in a group, the Windbreak Mic and Bluetooth Speaker enable cyclists to communicate with each other. Furthermore, text messages sent through the accompanying smartphone app will automatically be converted into voice messages.
There are safety features as well. Once the G-sensor senses an unusual gravity acceleration, an SOS alert will be sent to a chosen contact or the emergency services.
Livall recently went back to Indiegogo to raise funds for a second generation device. The new feature, heart rate monitor, with former smart features, makes cycling even safer. The second generation helmet is also lighter and more user-friendly.
This smart helmet allows you to play music, record video, and connect to your smartphone all in one unique device.
The Airwheel C5 has a built-in high definition camera and a 150° wide angle lens capable of capturing 2K resolution video and photos. You operate the camera by pressing the buttons on the side of the helmet. The 2000mAh battery can record for up to three hours and there’s 128GB of on-board storage. Another great feature is the built in WiFi module which enables you to connect to networks in order to transmit your latest image or video footage.
There is also Bluetooth functionality so you can stay safe while listening to your favourite tunes and answering calls on the go. The microphone has windbreak and de-noiser filters to guarantee clear calling during your ride.
Attach PhiPal to any outdoor sports helmet to transform it into a smart helmet which automatically detects if an accident has occurred.
The motion and altimetric sensors register your acceleration, position, orientation, and altitude using a 10-axis sensor set. Any drastic change in these metrics signal that something is amiss. If PhiPal determines that the user is unconscious, it initiates the alarm procedure and automatically sends a distress message with GPS geo-localization coordinates to a predetermined circle of contacts. The tracker is also capable of identifying accidents that involve strong deceleration, but not necessarily an impact to the helmet, such as heart attacks, heat stroke and upper body impacts.
Finally, the helmet also provides a wealth of data for performance analysis and social sharing. Through a 3D model, the user is able to analyze the distribution of forces on their body while leaning for a curve and optimize their body position for perfect performance.
The company is currently raising funds on Kickstarter, and funding starts at $99. There is a bit of a wait though. PhiPal is slated for a September 2017 release.
Another Kickstarter project, this is an intelligent bike helmet that allows you to communicate your intentions to those around you without even thinking about it.
The sensors read your movement when you indicate which way you are turning with hand signals, and activates your turning lights. The lights are located on both the front and back of the helmet, ensuring that you are visible to others. Brake lights turn on automatically when you reduce speed.
The helmet also tells you if a car is approaching your blindspots. The front and back cameras scan the environment. This info is interpreted communicated to you, using the visor interface. A non-disruptive light under the visor blinks in your peripheral vision as cars are approaching from behind.
Starting at $99, delivery is set for April 2017.
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