Bone-Conducting Helmet Lets Cyclists Take Calls
A number of U.S. states restrict or ban the use of earbuds or Bluetooth headsets while cycling, leaving riders bored and often lost. But Coros has a solution.
The Seattle startup in September introduced the Linx Smart Cycling Helmet through a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Now the team is showing off its open-ear bone conduction technology at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The $200 head protector wirelessly connects to iOS and Android handsets, allowing users to listen to music, take phone calls and hear GPS navigation instructions -- without losing sight (or sound) of their environment.
Via bone conduction audio, sound waves are converted into vibrations delivered through the upper cheekbones and into the wearer's inner ear, leaving the ear canal and ear drum open to hear vehicles, pedestrians, other cyclists.
A built-in, wind-resistant microphone also means you can chat with friends and family during a commute or daily work out.
Included with the Linx system is the handlebar-mounted Coros Smart Remote: a palm-sized accessory that makes it easy to control volume, skip tracks, pause music and take calls with just one touch.
"It gives riders an easy, safe way to control how they amp up their ride," the product website says.
The iOS/Android app handles ride tracking (distance, time, average speed, max speed, calories burned, elevations, etc.); sets, saves and shares routes; sets preferred waypoints; and shares ride data with any third-party apps you've linked in.
And, in the event of a significant helmet impact, an SOS alert will be delivered to your designated emergency contact.
Kickstarter backers received their early-bird headgear in the fall. But Coros is now selling its smart cycling helmet to the masses: available for $199.99 in four colors (white-orange-grey, black-orange, orange-white gloss, black-white) and two sizes (medium or large).