Audio for bike riders has long been a potentially deadly dilemma. Either pop in earbuds to play tunes, listen to podcasts, and take calls at the risk of not hearing traffic, or just ride in safe silence.
A new smart helmet that uses open-ear bone conduction promises to allow riders to hear everything.
The Linx Smart Cycling Helmet from Redmond, Wash.-based startup Coros Wearables Inc. works by transmitting audio through bone conduction. A disc on each strap rests on the cheekbone, delivering sound wave vibrations to the cochlea from there, leaving the ear canal and drum open to hear environmental noises.
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Bikers currently don't have good choices around audio, Coros president Chuck Frizelle explained to FastCo.Exist's Adele Peters. But if they had the opportunity to listen safely, that would change how often they cycle, he said. The helmet lets bikers set up audio control, participate in two-way communication, and get voice navigation. It has a dedicated app and handlebar-mounted smart remote. The device will also automatically send a GPS alert to a designated emergency contact if there's a crash.
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