As bike commuting continues to gain popularity, negative car/bicycle interactions will keep trending up. Anything you can do to stack the odds in your favor is a positive thing. To that end, check out this Kickstarter campaign from UNIT 1. The AURA is an integrated system that combines three pieces of hardware — a helmet, bike lights, and a turn signal remote — with a companion app.
Yes, it’s 2023, and it seems like everything, including your refrigerator, has a companion app now. But in this case, the technical wizardry just might make sense.
Let’s start with the AURA Helmet. It’s everything you’d expect from a medium-to-high-end lid: a magnetic clip on the chin strap, MIPS technology, interchangeable magnetic visors, and 16 vents.
But the special sauce is in the integrated lights and the crash-detection system. If you hit the pavement, the companion app will ask if you’re OK. If you don’t respond within a set time frame, it will automatically send a location-enabled SOS message to a predetermined number of your choice. The helmet comes in three sizes, four neutral colors, and weighs 370 g.
Next up are the AURA bike lights. Unit 1 claims over 500 lumens, and they attach magnetically to universal mounts (of which UNIT 1 has a variety).
When drained, pop them out and snap them into the included case. Just like your favorite earbuds, the case will charge them up. That means it’s much harder to get caught with dead lights, especially if your favorite coffee shop is low on available outlets.
One charge will get you about 40 minutes of runtime per Unit 1. The case recharges with a USB-C cord.
The Nav Unit controls both the helmet lights and the bike lights, giving you access to brake and turn signal notifications with big, chunky buttons that Unit 1 says are easy to find without looking at your hands or removing them from the bars.
And now we’ve returned full circle to the companion app. Through the app, you can monitor battery life, customize the light colors and patterns, and control who gets your crash-detection message.
Finally, all three physical elements are water-resistant to an IPX6 standard. That’s more than beefy enough to handle sustained heavy rain, though I wouldn’t recommend dunking anything fully underwater.
With 52 days to go on its Kickstarter as of this writing, Unit 1 has exceeded its $20,000 funding goal by almost $200,000. The whole kit will retail for $329. Check it out over at Kickstarter for more details.