Coros Wearables has introduced its Linx Smart Cycling Helmet, which has an interesting new tech called ‘open-ear bone conduction’. That way, you can just keep your ears free while listening to music, taking phone calls, and getting turn-by-turn navigation.
Via bone conduction audio, sound waves are converted into vibrations delivered through the upper cheekbones and into the wearer’s inner ear, leaving the ear drum and ear canal open to hear vehicles, pedestrians, other cyclists. That way, audio can be sent from a linked mobile device and transmitted to your ears so only you can hear it, all the while ensuring outside noise is still noticeable. This helmet also has the benefit of being indistinguishable from a standard one, save the small grey speakers attached to the straps.
The Linx helmet also has a wind-resistant microphone near the forehead for two-way communications. In addition, Linx ships along with a wireless smart remote so the rider can keep their eyes on the road and hands on the bars while controlling their media and calls with the tap of a button.
There are three components to the Linx: a companion mobile app, a remote that straps to your handlebars, and the helmet itself. This helmet contains two bone conducting speakers, a battery and Bluetooth unit in the back, and a microphone up top. The remote is straightforward, lets you change volume, accept or end calls, and skip songs. Coros says that the battery will keep the Linx active for up to 12 h. (Thankfully, if the battery dies, you still have a working smart bike helmet.)
The iOS/Android app handles ride tracking (distance, time, average speed, max speed, calories burned, elevations, etc.); sets, saves and shares routes; sets preferred waypoints; and shares ride data with any third-party apps you’ve linked in.
And, in event of a significant helmet impact, an SOS alert will be delivered to your designated emergency contact.
Kickstarter backers received their early-bird headgear in the fall. But Coros is now selling the smart cycling helmet to the masses: available for $199 in four colors (white-orange-grey, orange-white gloss, black-orange, black-white) and two sizes (large or medium).