Helmet Sensor 'Calls Your Loved Ones' in a Bike Crash

It looks like a tiny yellow pill. But a to-be-released sensor from ICEdot, a Tulsa, OK., company, can detect an impact and communicate with a smartphone to alert a loved one in the event of a crash.

When it comes to market next year you’ll be able to stick the yellow sensor dot to your bike or ski helmet. Using technology that detects sudden motion, the sensor can communicate with a smartphone to “send critical data to an app, which sounds an alarm and initiates an emergency countdown.”

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Mock-up of ICEdot sensor on bike helmet

Basically, if the sensor detects sudden motion and impact it assumes you crashed. It then sends a wireless signal (Bluetooth LE) to your phone, which auto-starts a countdown before alerting loved ones or other emergency contacts about the situation with a text message.

Your GPS coordinates will be automatically sent. This lets your contacts alert emergency services if needed.

If the fall is not critical, the crash victim can simply shut down the countdown clock on their phone and cancel the process.

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App on iPhone counts down before calling contacts in a crash

To launch the product, ICEdot partnered with SenseTech LLC, a Denver company. One of the SenseTech founders, Dr. Tim Bauer, built the first prototype after he struck his head in a bicycling accident. The product, Bauer said, “goes into action when an individual cannot.”

Accelerometer devices in the tiny sensor are used to detect three-dimensional forces. Rotational inertia, a common cause of injury to the brain in a crash, is measured along with other speed and force data.

The ICEdot product will debut at the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas later this month. It’s estimated to cost about $200 for the sensor and app package when it comes to market next year.

—Stephen Regenold

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ICEdot sensor

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