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.”

bike helmet.jpg

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.

icedot iphone mock.jpg

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

Posted by Timothy Best - 09/10/2012 08:50 PM

At the risk of being flamed, I wonder if this could be adapted for football helmets.

Posted by Brad - 09/11/2012 06:57 AM

Not a bad idea at all using it for football helmets to detect concussion level forces.

Posted by randy - 09/14/2012 05:57 AM

I wonder if the device itself is vulnerable to crashes, i.e., can the device be damaged or disabled in a crash?

Posted by Ben - 09/14/2012 11:26 AM

Wonder if this could be adapted to motorcycles? Or would it be too sensitive?

Posted by Robin - 10/18/2012 10:09 AM

Disclaimer I work at ICEdot…

To those who like the product:
Wanted to let you know that you can now pre-order a sensor over at:
http://indiegogo.com/icedot

There’s even a cool video where you can see it in action.

To answer the question of how sensitive it is…
The sensor is not so sensitive a dropped helmet is going to cause it to go off. In fact, the only drops that are going to trigger it are ones you should consider replacing your helmet for. We even have a video demonstrating the sensitivity at https://vimeo.com/icedot/review/51637658/2593b15d01

For more answers to common questions, see the FAQ at the bottom of the indiegogo campaign page

Posted by K.W. - 02/10/2013 10:22 AM

Is the sensor available yet and if not when?

Posted by Tim Rice - 06/03/2013 01:13 AM

I would have set it off, head first into the ditch at 25.8 mph. My phone was in my bike bag 20 feet on up the road. I thought I broke my neck so I just laid there until a car stopped. However, I wonder about panic…. My mother panicked when I said I was okay, yet needed a ride home as my bike wasn’t rideable. All she heard was “crash”… It didn’t matter that I was talking. Maybe a new I.C.E. is key. LoL

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