Always a fan of technology, I ran across a bit of kit that looks very promising. LifeBEAM, an Israel-based startup that specializes in aerospace technology used to track the vital signs of fighter jet pilots and astronauts, has placed similar sensors into a cycling helmet thereby eliminating the need for chest strap monitors, which no matter how sleek and comfortable, are always a pleasure to remove at the end of a ride.
LifeBEAM teamed up with Lazer, a well known and respected Belgium helmet manufacturer with over 90 years of experience, and embedded it’s unique sensors and algorithms into the Genesis helmet resulting in the aptly named SMART cycling helmet. The SMART provides highly accurate, real time measurements of heart rate under normal as well as extreme physiological conditions without the discomfort inherent to chest straps. The information gathered by the SMART appears in real time on your mobile phone, sport watch or cycling computer via ANT+ or Bluetooth.
LifeBEAM’s core sensing technology is based on state of the art non-invasive optical methods, using miniature components that allow unobtrusive and continuous physiological monitoring. These unique sensing methods enable high-accuracy measurements of various physiological parameters in dynamic environments and under extreme conditions. The optical sensor is placed on the helmet’s front, gently touching your forehead. The sensor samples the blood pulse in a high frequency and transmits a raw signal to the processing unit, which is placed in the helmet’s back. The processing unit filters the signal from motion artifacts and, using the communication module, wirelessly transmits the cleansed pulse to your display device in real-time.
The sensor & technology integrated into the SMART platform weigh in at only 50 grams, so you weight weenies out there have nothing to worry about. There is also a 3-axis accelerometer integrated into the sensor as well as room for future implementations including:
- Crash detection, Bicycle locator, integration with Cycling training apps for additional parameters and more!
- Advanced display capabilities: head up display capabilities just like in fighter pilots helmets!
- Additional Sensors: GPS, SIM, Logger and more!
- Sound feedback features.
LifeBeam has turned to Indiegogo to raise funds for the project, with limited “pre-order” pricing fixed at $149 for the first 200 helmets sold. From there, the price jumps to $189 — helmets are expected to begin shipping in September of this year.
Time to ditch the strap. Looks like I’ll be shopping for a new Lazer helmet in the not too distant future.
Wednesday, March 7
Ride Time: 2:07:19
Stopped Time: 55:03
Distance: 37.14 miles
Average: 17.50 mph
Fastest Speed: 26.82 mph
Cycle This Month: 166.08 miles
Cycle This Year: 1323.33 miles