Livall’s smart bike helmet signals turns, plays tunes, and more

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.

Livall smart helmet

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.

Outdoors

General Motors cycles into a new market with its first-ever ebikes

When General Motors launched a public campaign last year to name its new ebike brand, many wondered if Bikey McBikeface might win out. But it didn't. Instead, it's called Arīv, and the two bikes are up for pre-order this week.
Mobile

These 13 gadgets walk a fine line between ingenious and insane

The annual avalanche of devices and gadgets is astounding, but how many will succeed? A few are destined to spark new trends, while the majority fade deservedly into obscurity. We look at some gadgets on the border of brilliant and bonkers.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for February 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Emerging Tech

Smart toilet seat is flush with possibilities to monitor patients’ health

Researchers from the Rochester Institute of Technology have developed a smart toilet seat that can monitor the heart health of users during their time spent sitting on it. It could prove to be as effective as some hospital monitoring…
Emerging Tech

We’re another step closer to made-to-order human kidneys

Could human kidneys one day be grown in other animals and then transplanted across into patients? A breakthrough demonstration involving mice in Japan hints that this could be possible in the future.
Health & Fitness

My niece lost her hearing. This is a story about how technology brought it back

For people with profound hearing loss, cochlear implants can restore sound. We explore what the procedure entails, how the system works, and take a look at the latest developments from Australian company Cochlear.
Emerging Tech

Energy-harvesting gizmo powers medical implants using your own heartbeat

Engineers at Dartmouth College have built an energy-harvesting gadget that's able to convert the heart’s kinetic energy into electricity for powering an assortment of implantable devices.
Emerging Tech

FDA hails ‘Tumor Monorail’ that coaxes aggressive tumors away from the brain

Researchers have developed a so-called 'Tutor Monorail' which can successfully fool aggressive brain tumors into exiting the brain and instead migrating into an external container.
Outdoors

Skullcandy turns to action sports with the Vert Bluetooth earbuds

The new Skullcandy Vert Bluetooth earbuds are designed with action sports athletes in mind, putting audio controls on a convenient dial that provides glove-friendly options to pause and play music, and adjust volume.
Deals

The best sound machines to help you fall (and stay) asleep

Whether you find that sleep better with white noise, rain sounds, or deep sleep music, there’s a sound machine on the market that will be able to help you catch more z’s in no time at all.
Deals

The 10 best computer reading glasses to help reduce eye strain

Eye strain, headaches, and dry eyes are all side effects of too much exposure to blue light and screen glare. Get yourself a pair of computer reading glasses to help relieve the discomfort.
Mobile

9 million veterans can now access their health records on an iPhone

Apple announced a partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that allows as many as 9 million veterans to access their health records straight on their iPhone. The announcement could have a significant impact on veterans'…
Outdoors

These wireless earbuds use an A.I. to get you moving faster

The new Soul Blade wireless earbuds provide the ability to track your heart rate during a workout while an A.I.-powered coach gives advice and info on how to improve form and efficiency while exercising.