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Cardo BK-1 turns your bike helmet into a walkie talkie


March 26, 2012

The BK-1 system gives you hands-free mobile phone and radio communications

The BK-1 system gives you hands-free mobile phone and radio communications

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Cardo Systems, Inc. has long specialized in radio communications systems for motorcycles. Now the company has turned to the bike market in building what it calls the "world's first Bluetooth communications and entertainment system for bicycle helmets."

The stereotypical cyclist with his Lycra jersey and bib shorts doesn't have a whole lot of personal storage space for an electronics device. So, Cardo built a unit designed to be mounted to the bicycle helmet. The BK-1 unit is a waterproof, aerodynamic Bluetooth device that fits nearly any helmet with some simple hardware. The hardware looks a little more streamlined than the similar HIOD One system we saw last year.

The BK-1 is a communications device, first and foremost. It can pair with up to two other BK-1 units, allowing you to communicate with fellow cyclists at distances up to 1,640 feet (500 m). It can also work with a mobile phone via Bluetooth, to make/receive calls. Both the intercom and phone functions are voice activated, so you can keep your hands planted on the handlebars. With its click-to-link function, you can even automatically connect to other BK-1 users in the area and have a spontaneous conversation (similar to how you could use a radio to scan for other users on the same channel). The Automatic Gain Control adjusts volume according to speed and ambient noise.

In addition to communications, the BK-1 can pair with a music player or GPS via Bluetooth or hard-wire connection, allowing you to listen to music or GPS routing. An incoming phone call will interrupt intercom audio, and an incoming intercom message will interrupt music.

The BK-1 package features several components, including the main control unit, a microphone and earpiece unit, and a cradle. The cradle attaches to a helmet with an included Velcro strap, and the main unit and headphones slide into the cradle. Velcro pads allow you to customize the fit and stability of the system. The main unit has five buttons that switch between audio sources and control tracks. The BK-1 provides up to seven hours of talk time via a rechargeable battery. It comes in both solo and duo packages.

Source: Cardo via BikeRadar

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss
1 Comment

How about incorporating an automatic car & overtaking bike detection and warning system to reduce iPod deafness induced crashes? It's bad enough already with all the iPod deaf pedestrians & cyclists isolated in their own selfish little world that have no idea who else is around them & pull out in front of others. If you want to take a phone call while you are in traffic, then pull over if the call is so desperate. Music & phone use distracts from what is happening around you, reduces your brains ability to recognise hazards and I can't warn you I'm coming past if you are deaf to the world. In the article it comments about limited storage space. Jerseys have 3 large convienent pockets for heaps of storage space.

Fran Cummings
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