Intelligent bike helmet brings brains to head protection

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Classon can operate up to 2.5 hours per charge and communicates with mobile devices via Bluetooth and the cloud/web via Wi-Fi(Credit: Brooklyness)

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While the basic helmet may keep your cranium covered, it's probably doing little more than that. Newer "smart helmets" combine modern features with protection, but the latest from Brooklyness may offer an experience like no other. The Classon bike helmet is designed to improve safety and visibility with gesture-activated turn signals, automatic brake lights, blind spot detection, and more.

Brooklyness, which successfully funded its CMYK folding electric bike campaign last year, has loaded the Classon bike helmet with lights, sensors, and smart features that help to inform cyclists about their surroundings in a visible yet non-disruptive way. This smart helmet can operate up to 2.5 hours per charge and communicates with mobile devices via Bluetooth and the cloud/web via Wi-Fi.

Similar to the Lumos bike helmet, Classon is designed with LEDs that blink to indicate the rider's intention to others. An integrated accelerometer automatically triggers the brake lights when it detects that the user is coming to a stop. But instead of a handlebar switch to trigger left/right turn signals (on both the helmet's front and back sides), Classon features sensors that read body movement and actuate the appropriate turning light based on hand gestures.

Classon packs front- and rear-facing cameras that serve a dual purpose, which has also been seen in the yet-to-release Nand Logic Smart Helmet. While riding, the cameras continually scan surroundings for approaching objects (e.g. cars). An algorithm interprets the information to let users know when something is approaching from behind. While Nand Logic's design warns with audio, Classon employs LEDs mounted under the visor that blink to indicate incoming/blind spot traffic.

Up to six hours of HD video can be recorded and saved to Classon's 4 GB internal memory. While it may not shoot wide-angle footage like Forcite Alpine ski helmet, a companion app can enable live streaming and quick access to edit/share videos or GIFs on social media. However, this features does require a "Classon Club" subscription, which also provides access to riding stats, GPS-guided navigation (via visor lights), and future updates.

Brooklyness has launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Classon bike helmet, seeking to reach a US$30,000 goal in 30 days. Super early bird pledges start at $99 for one Classon helmet, which also includes a free six-month Classon Club subscription.

Prototypes and sample electronic have already been designed. So if tooling, production, and testing/certification go according to plan, backers can expect shipments of the Classon helmet to start sometime in April, 2017.

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