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Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Black Box For Cyclists, And A Safety Line...

This is cool.

The ICEdot helmet sensor is now available.  ICE stands for "In Case of Emergency."  A couple years ago, I was told to put ICE contact(s) in my phone, so that way on a ride (or on a walk or drive for that matter), if something happened, emergency personnel did not have to guess who to call -- they just called the ICE contact.

Now, I do wear a Road I.D. bracelet, but this ICEdot censor is amazing.  It is the "black box" for cyclists.  On a smartphone, you enable Bluetooth and open the app.  You set the level of impact at which you would like the ICEdot sensor to activate.  Obviously, you don't want it to go off on little bumps to the noggin, or if you left the app on and you are simply setting your helmet on a table.

If you fall and hit your head with enough force to activate the censor, a notification goes off on your phone.  You can set the amount of time you have to cancel the notification before it is sent to your ICE contacts.  That way, if the fall wasn't bad or setting off the censor was just an accident, you can cancel the ICE warning.

However, if you are injured and unable to cancel the warning, your ICE contacts will receive a text message which informs the contacts of your location AND the severity of the impact.  Yes, this is amazing.  The censor can detect if a rider begins to fall and if so, the SEVERITY of the fall.

This could be hugely beneficial if a rider has been struck by a car (or another rider, etc.).  Based upon the severity, an expert could deduce how fast the car was going prior to impact, and could thus show whether the car was in excess of the speed limit and driving in a reckless manner.

It will also be able to show the force of a rider's head striking an object (such as the ground) and would be recorded to provide medical personnel and expert witnesses with hard facts about how severe the impact was and how that corresponds to the injuries the rider sustained.  And it would not just show how hard a rider's head hit something, but the g-force information could also be used to show the impact on other parts of a rider's body that have been injured.  Essentially, how hard was the impact and thus how hard was the force which caused the impact.  This would dramatically help bolster an injured rider's claim for damages.

Of course, a defense counselor will most likely find some paid "expert" who will use this information to show how a rider's injuries are not as bad as the cyclist or his treators say.  But, that is what defense "experts" get paid (really big bucks) to say.

My uncle though, made a very good point.  This is an expensive item and requires use of a smartphone.  What if the smartphone is also wrecked in the crash?  It would seem to me that then, no ICE contact will receive notification and no data will be collected.  If you are on a solo ride, that does you no good. Solution: carry phone in hard shell casing?  I mean, its not like you are racing others up Alpe d'Huez and need to be super light.  Maybe, and maybe it is not worth the expense.  But, as a someone out for a solo ride, you might want to take the chance that your smartphone will survive the impact.

Despite that, I think this is extremely fascinating and could be hugely beneficial to cyclists injured by others.

And most importantly, for that solo rider, notification to an ICE contact could be the difference between life and death (assuming your phone survives the impact).


Check it out here: http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/09/interbike/icedot-introduces-helmet-sensor-that-notifies-contacts-after-a-crash_240058