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Helmets

A cyclist with a stinky cracked helmet (Inset: one of the odoriferous microcapsules)

We’re told that we should replace our bike helmets every couple of years or so, because minuscule cracks can develop over time, rendering them structurally unsound. For the same reason, we’re supposed to replace a helmet that has withstood a direct impact immediately, no questions asked. The problem is... it’s so hard to get yourself to throw away what looks like a perfectly good helmet, just because it might no longer be effective. New technology developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials should eliminate this situation. When your helmet is getting past its prime, it will start to smell. If it develops any large cracks... well, you’d better plug your nose.  Read More

The Highson Suit Commute pannier flat back pack keeps your business clothes pressed and cl...

Trying to do the right thing by the environment and ride a scooter or bicycle to work is great – unless you have to wear a suit. Wear it riding and you can sometimes look like the “great unwashed” by the time you arrive at your desk. Place it carefully into a backpack and by the time you’re unpacking it, it looks like you ironed it with the leg of a chair. The Suit Commute, however, is designed to hold your neatly pressed suit and shirt in place so you arrive for the board meeting or job interview looking fit for the part (just don’t forget to fix your “helmet hair”).  Read More

Eyes in the back of your head: the Reevu MX1 motorcycle helmet

We first covered the Reevu helmet, with its built-in rear view mirror for motorcyclists, back in 2005. It's an excellent idea - a rider's vision and situational awareness are huge components of road safety. The more you know about what's happening around and behind you, the more options you've got in an emergency or a simple lane change situation. Well, it's been a long road to the market, but Reevu has finally announced that its RV MSX1 helmet has passed European standards testing, and is now available for distribution. It should be homologated for use worldwide in the near future, and if the final price is right, we're sure these guys are onto a real winner.  Read More

The gobandit GPS-enabled action video camera

There was a time when budget actioncams (or helmetcams, or whatever you want to call them) were limited to just one or two models. Now the options abound, with manufacturers adding special features to set their cameras apart from the rest. We’ve seen actioncams with laser-assisted alignment, extra-wide lenses and anti-glare LCD screens, just to name a few. With the gobandit GPSHD, we’re about to see a camera that offers something else yet - a recorded onscreen display of the location, altitude and speed at which your footage was shot.  Read More

The Lazer Solano SuperSkin helmet

There’s no doubt that wearing a motorcycle helmet is better than not wearing one, but various studies have shown that there’s one potentially-lethal injury that they don’t protect against - rotational injury, also known as intracerebral shearing. When a rider’s helmet hits the road, its rigid shell catches against the pavement and causes the helmet to very rapidly twist around. The rider’s head twists with the helmet, but does it so quickly that the brain doesn’t quite keep up, moving a few milliseconds after the skull it’s contained in. The result is the shearing of nerves and blood vessels, resulting in disabilities or even death. Lazer Helmets is now offering something claimed to reduce the risk of this injury by almost 70% - helmets with skin.  Read More

The Regenerative Helmet's two rear halves squeeze and lock together for that perfect fit

In many countries, wearing a bike helmet while cycling in public places is compulsory because it is proven to have saved lives. However, anyone who has ever applied one of these helmets to their heads knows that are definitely not a one-size-fits-all piece of equipment. An ill-fitting helmet means less protection, but they can require much trial and error to adjust correctly. The Regenerative Helmet overcomes this with its hard outer shell and flexible segments that allow the helmet to contort to provide a better fit. The liner uses dual density multi-impact foam to provide impact protection for both low and high speed accidents.  Read More

The Nubrella wearable umbrella

There are, admittedly, several problems with traditional umbrellas. The area of maximum coverage is occupied by the pole, they have a way of catching the wind and sometimes even popping, those little metal tips of the ribs could poke someone in the eye, they’re not great at protecting you from rain that’s slanting in on an angle and one of your hands is always occupied with holding the handle. These issues are all squared addressed by the Nubrella, an umbrella that you wear like a big ol’ space helmet. It’s a good thing that it allows both your hands to be free, as you’ll need them to wave to all the gawking onlookers.  Read More

The scala rider G4 allows up to three separate riders to converse

Making oneself heard over the roar of a motorcycle engine can be difficult at the best of times. But being heard over the roar of a motorcycle engine when tearing down the highway with your head encased in a helmet is downright impossible. Naturally technology has come to the rescue in the form of Bluetooth enabled helmets and helmet-to-helmet communication systems. The latest solution to keep chatty bikers happy is the scala rider G4 bike-to-bike Bluetooth headset that offers group intercom between up to three riders at distances of up to one mile (1.6km).  Read More

Smaller than a BIC lighter, and just about as cheap: the MD80 mini video camera/helmet cam...

There's not a lot that's particularly remarkable about the MD80 mini spy camera - it's pretty tiny, it records reasonable 640x480 video in AVI format at 25 frames per second, and it can be set to standby for up to 250 hours until it's activated by a sound, making it a good little spy cam unit. It's pretty similar to any number of helmet cam/mini video cam units but for one fact - it costs less than US$25 on eBay, delivered to your door. For the price it's an outstanding product and the sort of thing you could habitually carry around in your car, recording driving conditions for an instant evidence stockpile in case of an accident or incident. And more broadly it's an example of how Chinese design and manufacturing can get a competitive, quality product to market at a price point that absolutely annihilates the competition, to the point where if you're still concerned about quality, you might just as well buy five of the things in case four break. Which they're not doing nearly so much these days.  Read More

The Shake offers the ability to hear your ambient surroundings at the same time as your mu...

If you haven’t previously heard of TuneBug, that’s because it is a new company and although its portable speaker solutions were shown at CES 2009, they are only just now making their way to market. The products are all based on patented NXT speaker technology which generate sound waves that pass through the surfaces the speakers (aka “sound generators”) rest on, effectively turning those surfaces into speakers. Predictably, there’s a desktop solution which sits on your desk. Now there’s also a helmet-top solution which sits on your helmet, giving you a kind of ambient bone dome surround sound like you’ve never had before – ideal for skateboarding, bicycling, skiing and motorcycling.  Read More

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