We received many emails, and seen many searches for Helmets equipped with Bluetooth and other wireless technologies. So as off today, you see a series of ARTICLES on Wireless Equipped Helmets.
What is Bluetooth ?? Bluetooth is a recent wireless technology used mostly at this moment by mobile telephones, but also for Personal Computers (you can get Bluetooth equipped keywords, mouse and Personal Digital Assistants such as Palm and PocketPCs). Bluetooth is a standard, and any equipment using Bluetooth can communicate with any other that is equipped with the same technology (and it does not need to be from the same manufacturer). Bluetooth has a range of 5-10 meters.
Bluetooth equipped devices need to be synchronized to each other (a simple matter of pressing a button).
The Italian helmet manufacturer, Vemar, is probably the most advanced and the furthest in their product. They have three working prototypes; a jet, an integral and a flip-up helmet, all three equipped with Bluetooth.
On the photo on your left, you can see a Vemar Flip-up helmet equipped with Bluetooth.
On your right you see the inside of the helmet containing a rechargeable battery (2) (the usefulness of the battery is the same as that of a mobile telephone, so several hours), the wiring to built-in speakers, a battery recharge plug and a multi-function button (1).
On these photos, the multi-function button is located at the rear, however in the production models, the button will be on the left of the helmet.
This button (see bottom photo) allows you to synchronize with other Bluetooth devices (pressing the button for several seconds will do the trick), it will allow you to answer a call from your mobile telephone, or it will allow you to place a call if your Bluetooth
equipped telephone has speak recognition.
For bike-to-bike communication, the device is not really suited, as the other biker needs to be within reach (5-10 meters). For that purpose, Vemar is developing an additional wireless communication technology that will all you to talk to another motorcycle.
At this moment, Vemar think their first helmet, an Integral, will be marketed first in the UK within a month. Others will follow rapidly, as will the rest of Europe and the world.
Other manufacturers are in different stages of product development. The furthest is Momo Designs together with Motorola (see article).
Manufacturers such as Nolan, GPA, Schubert have not immediate plans.
An interesting development on which we will write hopefully next week is the French communication device manufacturer LTA. They showed a prototype Bluetooth equipped device that allows for intercom, Music, telephone and bike-to-bike communications using Bluetooth.
More information to follow.....