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Now that's using your head: Bike-helmet monitor alerts emergency contacts after a crash

kids riding bikes - big

For me, the hardest thing about loving someone is knowing I can't always be with them. That's why I keep my eyes peeled for the latest technological gadgets that can connect me to the people I love, even when they're far away.

Today, a story from Wired caught my attention. It's a bike helmet monitor - about the size of chocolate truffle - that sends a text to your emergency medical contact(s) of choice if it senses you've been in an accident.

From the article:

It attaches to any helmet — clipped into a vent, as pictured, or stuck on with a super-sticker — and registers impacts via both a three-axis gyroscope and a three-axis accelerometer. A proprietary algorithm determines whether the hit exceeds brain-trauma threshold. If there’s cause for worry, the ICEdot alerts your phone over low-energy Bluetooth. This triggers the ICEdot app to sound an alarm and begin a countdown. If you don’t wake up and turn it off before it times out, the app texts your GPS coordinates to your emergency contacts.

Sound complicated? It is, but not for the user. Setup is simple and fast: Register online, download the app, connect with the sensor, and you’re done.

Since bike crashes can result in potentially serious injuries, including concussions, this little device could give bikers, and their loved ones, some peace of mind.

Holly MacCormick is a writing intern in the medical school’s Office of Communication & Public Affairs. She is a graduate student in ecology and evolutionary biology at University of California-Santa Cruz.

Previously: Study shows concussion recovery may take longer for female, younger athletesCan high-tech helmets safeguard young athletes against concussions?University leaders raise awareness about the importance of bike helmetsRattled by one child’s injury, a whole family becomes accident-prone, and Health benefits of bike commuting outweigh the risks
Photo by Divine in the Daily

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