Helmets should be as smart as what they’re protecting, and while Livall’s Bling Helmet may not be a MENSA member, it’s still pretty smart when it comes to connected biking. The helmet is just the head of a body of biking gear that includes the Bling Jet remote, Livall phone mount, and the Nano Cadence sensor. Working together, all the parts of this brilliant kit can help you not only help you be seen, but also manage your gadgets without taking your hands off the handlebars.
First and foremost, the Bling Helmet is about safety. Tucked inside the protective hull, a built-in 3-axis G-sensor lets the Bling helmet detect falls by reporting unusual deceleration — a.k.a. crashes. The accompanying mobile app then automatically sends an SOS to your preset emergency contacts.
Of course, the idea is to avoid accidents altogether. Forward-facing colored LEDs keep you visible in rear view mirrors, while rear LEDs sweep back and forth like KITT’s front mounted scanner bar. They serve as tail lights and can work as turn signals if you have the right Livall peripheral – but more on that in a minute.
The Bling Helmet’s built-in Windbrake mic lets you answer calls without that deafening background whistle. The Bluetooth speakers positioned above the ears let the helmet take the place of headphones, since you can both hear your calls and listen to music stored on your phone. The helmet also has a walkie-talkie function for direct helmet-to-helmet communications.
Bling Jet is Livall’s handlebar remote that lets you control the helmet, including the turn signals. With the Jet, you can select, start, or pause songs playing through the helmet’s speakers. It also has a photo button that activates your phone’s camera. Stills and video are recorded in the Livall riding app.
Since we almost never go anywhere without our phones these days, Livall designed a phone holder with a familiar x-grip mechanism that makes it easy to remove or readjust your phone. Unlike most other bike phone mounts, the holder is built onto the end of a specialized stem with a built-in battery pack with a USB port and power indicator on the left hand side.
Livall also offers some other peripherals, like the Nano Cadence Sensor. According to the company, it’s currently the world’s smallest cadence sensor, and has already been patented. It’s easy to install, too – just plug it into the hole on your crankset. It shows cadence, and infers speed, distance and burned calories through the app.
The Livall riding app might not be an OCD control center like, say, Strava, but it can incorporate data from other sensors connected to your phone like fitness bands, pedometers, and smart watches. The app shows slope rate, altitude, and heart rate, among other data. Livall designed it to work with the Nano Cadence sensor, the Bling Jet, and the Bling Helmet. Within the app you can play music, set up SOS alerts, and control the lights on the helmet, as well as share stats, photos and videos. It can even manage communication; texts sent through the Livall app are automatically converted to voice messages for users in “riding mode.” The app even supports third-party music apps (the track change functions won’t work, but all the other functions will).
The Livall suite is up on Indiegogo and doing really well. The campaign hit 85% funding in a day, and is only seeking $20,000. Choosing the early bird special for $100 gets you a Bling Helmet, a Jet, and free shipping, but this writer begged for a perk with just the phone holder (because it’s great). Let’s hope the Livall team answers the plea.