Published on June 25th, 2014 | by Greg

Lifebeam Lazer Genesis: The First Smart Bike Helmet?

Fighter pilots benefit from vital signs monitoring- specialized sensors help track their physical responses to stress and G-forces. But some of those same technologies have trickled down, and are now available to the general public in a nifty consumer product. While bikers now have quite a few interesting fitness trackers to choose from, each of them requires a watch, some of them require a chest strap, and each of them adds a little bulk to your life.

But there is something you’re already wearing that can easily house the sensors- your bike helmet. Which is why LifeBEAM worked with Lazer Helmets on the LifeBEAM SMART and designed a unique option that hides the necessary microprocessor, the optical physiological sensor which touches your forehead, as well as an accelerometer and wireless module. Originally an Indiegogo project, the company claims that the helmet is “built for intense activities in extreme environments and has demonstrated highly accurate results”. And in fact, we found their measurements fairly comparable to our chest strap monitors, without the itching and chafing that they can cause, though the calorie counting portion wasn’t quite as solid. Altogether, including the rechargeable battery, the system weighs only about 50 grams.

And speaking of the battery, you can expect about 15 hours of continuous battery life. The LifeBEAM is compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 & ANT+ devices – smartphones, fitness watches, cycling computers. Our version was only BLE capable, but the new editions will offer both in a single helmet. You can use existing apps, if you already have a fitness app you prefer or connect to your smartwatch or cycling computer, and the helmet is platform-agnostic so should work with most any device that can communicate with those protocols. As to the helmet, the Lazer Genesis is one of their most popular models, a natural fit for this new generation of fitness technology- aerodynamic and quite cool on it’s own, we like the subtle details adding in this version. The Genesis features the nice Rollsys fit system and 19 vents for plenty of airflow. Good for all conditions, the sensors are sealed against inclement weather as well.

Casual cyclists might not need heart rate info, or real-time data like this- and more serious athletes might want additional sensors, such as blood oxygen levels via oximeter readings. The unisex LifeBEAM Smart Helmet is only available in white at the moment, though comes in a medium or large size. Available for pre-order now directly, they are currently discounted from $229 to $199 for early adopters.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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