Apparel Pro: Smart Helmets & Communication Systems

First there were smartphones. Then came smartwatches, smart TVs, smart refrigerators and the list has only continued to grow. In this day and age, it seems almost any device has the opportunity to become smart — including motorcycle helmets.

First there were smartphones. Then came smartwatches, smart TVs, smart refrigerators and the list has only continued to grow. In this day and age, it seems almost any device has the opportunity to become smart — including motorcycle helmets. 

No matter what type of helmet riders want, there are smart helmets and communication systems available that make communication easier and clearer than ever before. Not only do these devices come standard with Bluetooth capabilities, but the communications systems themselves use Mesh intercom technology.

What’s Mesh? Think about it this way: Bluetooth can only link devices in a chain, connecting one rider to the next. However, the more people in the chain, the weaker the connection gets. Furthermore, when someone rides away and breaks the chain, the entire group has to be reconnected. 

Mesh, on the other hand, connects multiple riders in a flexible network. Instead of a chain, the lines of communication form something more like a web between them. So, when someone pops out, no links are broken, and everyone stays connected.  

Smart helmets have long battery life, usually allowing intercom communication for at least 20 hours before needing to be recharged. In addition, the helmets are installed with HD-quality speakers and microphones; some models even contain advanced noise-control technology that reduces ambient wind sounds. This way, riders can keep the volume of their conversations or music down in their ears, thus protecting their hearing. On the flip side, some of these helmet models also feature an ambient mode, allowing users to amplify external noises and conversation so that they don’t have to remove the helmet to talk.

For the videographers out there, some of these helmets even offer a built-in camera on their crowns, allowing riders to capture their adventures with the press of a button. Built-in Wifi also allows these users to share their movies on-the-go.

All this tech can heat things up, so it makes sense that smart helmets also feature ventilation and adjustable, removeable foam pads to keep riders comfortable and safe. The foam padding features quick-drying fabric and a moisture wicking system.

Now, maybe a smart helmet is too much tech for a customer. Everyone’s needs are different, after all. In that case, you can still offer attachable communication systems. These systems, at a minimum, use Bluetooth to pair with a smartphone, allowing riders to accept calls and listen to music or GPS directions and they connect with at least one other rider. Advanced models can provide some or all of the following additional options: clearer microphone and speaker audio, easy-access buttons and dials, multi-language support, digital assistant access and multi-channel intercoms to allow for communication with multiple riders. 

As a final note, be sure that these systems are IP67-rated for water protection. An IP67 rating means equipment is dust-tight and protected against immersion. As a point of reference, lights and security equipment used in carwashes are recommended to have an IP67 rating to protect them from a harsh environment of constant water, chemicals and dirt, so you can rest assured that these communication systems, when facing similar conditions on the open road with you, won’t short out.

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