World’s first smart cycling helmet - LifeBEAM Helmet - uses Nordic wireless technology to support ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart

Apr 23, 2015
 
Oslo, Norway 2015/04/23 - Nordic Semiconductor today announces that LifeBEAM, a developer of bio-sensing technology, has specified Nordic nRF51422 Systems-on-chip (SoCs) with Nordic S310 SoftDevice to supply both ANT+ and Bluetooth® Smart (formerly known as Bluetooth low energy) wireless connectivity in what LifeBEAM’s says is the world's first ‘smart’ cycling helmet.
  
A collaboration between LifeBEAM and helmet manufacturer Lazer, the LifeBEAM Smart Helmet features aerospace-grade bio-sensing technology embedded in the classic Lazer Genesis helmet. Available online and distributed in over 50 countries, the LifeBEAM helmet employs LifeBEAM optical sensor technology to measure heart rate in real-time from the rider's forehead, eliminating the need for a chest strap. By offering both Bluetooth Smart and ANT+ wireless compatibility, the helmet allows users to transfer heart rate and calorie measurements to smartphones, smartwatches, bike computers and fitness apps of their choice.
  
The LifeBEAM Helmet’s optical sensor employs the same dual beam infra-red technology employed in emergency room pulse oximeters. However, this technology is said to be packed into a highly robust sensor and microprocessor module that runs a proprietary algorithm to filter out motion-generated noise caused by rider changes in direction and velocity, and environmental noise caused by sweat, rain, and ambient operating temperatures.
   
LifeBEAM says the ultra-low power characteristics of the Nordic nRF51422 enables cyclists to use the helmet under typical conditions (roughly four times per week) for an entire month before needing to recharge.
  
"The Nordic nRF51422's single chip support for both ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart wireless technology was a big deal to us as it allowed us to minimize the number of supporting components and thus the power consumption compared to using two separate chips,” says Omri Yoffe, CEO of LifeBEAM. “Nordic’s technology also permitted the entire LifeBEAM physiological sensor and processing unit to be packaged within a small module that weighs just 35g."
   
Yoffe continues: "The exciting thing is that our [RAY] module platform can be embedded into all kinds of wearable monitoring products with relatively minor design adjustments. Examples include, but are certainly not limited to, smartwatches and bands, headsets, headphones, clothing, smart jewelry, hats, and sun glasses. This cycling helmet is only the beginning."
   
"There is a distinct convenience trend towards 'plug & go' whereby products do not make the users have to do anything special in order to use them," comments Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor's Director of Sales & Marketing. "This cycling helmet from LifeBEAM is very much a good example of that: put the helmet on, turn on your app or device, and start cycling. And I commend this approach as one that end users are likely to appreciate."
  
The LifeBEAM Helmet is carried by major wholesale distributors including Quality Bicycle Products (USA), Madison (UK), Bike Sportz (Australia), Live to Play (Canada) and Wolvenberg (Benelux). The LifeBEAM helmet can also be purchased online from LifeBEAM, Lazer, Amazon, and eBay. Two new helmet designs – Shiny White and Mat Black – are scheduled for release in June.

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