We’ve seen a number of smart bike helmets hit the market over the past couple of years, with each of them bringing an array of different features designed to make a rider’s life easier – and safer – while in the saddle.
Those helmets often come equipped with lights, feature GPS navigation, and may even offer music playback through bone-conduction technology. But each of them have one significant problem as well — they require a cyclist to purchase a new helmet, even if the one they are using is perfectly fine. A new gadget called Ahead is looking to change that by offering a clip-on option that can turn any bike helmet into a smart helmet.
The device comes with a variety of mounts that allow it to securely connect to virtually any helmet. Once in place, it can be paired with a smartphone via Bluetooth technology to activate a variety of different features. For instance, the Ahead’s built-in speaker and dual narrow-angle microphones allow riders to safely take phone calls while on their bikes. Those same mics reportedly cut down on wind and background noise for clearer voice communication, with callers or personal digital assistants like Siri and Google Now.
Other features include the ability to playback music without using earbuds, as well as provide audio cues for turn-by-turn navigation. The device is also equipped with an activity sensor to track a rider’s workout, and even includes a push-to-talk walkie-talkie option for use with smartphone apps like Zello that support that functionality.
The gadget is dustproof and waterproof, weighs just 2.2 ounces, and can be customized to fit an individual rider’s needs using a free app for iOS and Android. Battery life is reportedly good enough for up to eight hours of talk time and three days of standby.
Ahead launched on Kickstarter last week and is closing in on its $50,000 funding goal. If that number is reached, it should go into production later this year and begin shipping in October. The device’s MSRP has not yet been revealed, although early-bird backers can score one for as little as $89 by pre-ordering now.
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