An unlikely accessory has become the locus of significant innovation recently: the bike helmet. In the past few months we’ve reported on bike helmets with cameras, bike helmets with turn signals, and bike helmets with LED lights. We even wrote about a helmet that you can’t see at all because it’s not really there.
The latest in helmet design takes a page from the exercise trend of self-monitoring, adding sensors to the Genesis helmet by Lazer design, which allow wearers to track their heart rate in real time without the added burden of a chest strap.
According to its founders, The Smart helmet by LifeBeam isn’t just a helmet—it’s a platform that includes a microprocessor, "a state-of-the-art optical physiological sensor, accelerometer, and full wireless communication capabilities."
Here’s how it works: "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 unit then transmits information about your heart rate, blood flow, and oxygen saturation to your mobile phone or sport watch via Blutetooth.
LifeBeam raised nearly $65,000 on Indiegogo to support mass production of the product, which should be ready this fall. It’s a follow up to their sensing platform for the helmets of fighter pilots and astronauts to monitor their vital signs.