Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and video games in particular. You can reach him on Twitter, circle him on Google+ and connect with him on LinkedIn.
LifeBEAM has launched an Indiegogo campaign today in order to put its new smart cycling helmet, which includes a built-in heart rate sensor, into full production.
The company has a pretty impressive track record to take note of. The startup, founded in 2010 and headquartered in Tel Aviv, specializes in remote monitoring of multiple physiological parameters, such as heart rate, blood flow and oxygen saturation.
LifeBEAM has used this knowledge in the past to create a miniaturized sensor that is used in some of the helmets worn by fighter pilots and astronauts. Being able to track these metrics in real-time is valuable not only for assessing the person’s physcial performance, but also as a safety measure for keeping tabs on their health.
The company now wants to use this experience in order to launch its first product for everyday consumers. The Genesis helmet, currently manufactured by Lazer Sport, will include what it calls a LifeBEAM sensor at the front and a processing unit at the back.
The data can then be relayed to various monitoring devices, fitness watches and smartphones in real-time using Bluetooth 4.0 with Bluetooth low energy (BLE).
LifeBEAM claims to be one of the few options that doesn’t use a chest strap to monitor the user’s heart rate. “Other solutions promise to collect heart rate data from locations such as the wrist but these technologies are unproven,” it adds.
The idea is that the Genesis weighs and feels just like any other cycling helmet, thereby staying discrete and out-of-the-way when the user is out on their bike.
“Our team has been working to implement technology that before existed only in theory or laboratory settings,” said Omri Yoffe, CEO of LifeBEAM. “We have already won contracts to implement our sensor in real-world Aerospace applications and have been testing it in various challenging settings with great success.
“We want to bring this same powerful technology to the broad consumer market as we see incredible potential to disrupt the sports and health industry with a far more comfortable and far more useful heart rate monitoring technology.”
It remains to be seen what demand there is for a solution like this though. Heart rate monitoring is useful, but it’s only part of the dataset that serious athletes need to improve their performance. Distance covered, current pace and calories burned are the normal fare, and it would be nice to have a way of collating all of this together while out on the road or trail.
If you’re a keen cyclist though and fancy grabbing a helmet, head on over to LifeBEAM’s Indiegogo campaign and pledge away.
Image Credit: ALEXANDER KLEIN/AFP/GettyImages
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