Two Innovative Products for Road Safety Hitting the Market
Travelers on two wheels and four have promising new safety products to look forward to — a bicycle helmet safety system invented in Colorado and an inflatable child seat developed by Volvo. As Julie writes for The Grommet, ICEdot, which attaches to a bike helmet, has an impact sensor, a notification system, a medic alert, and a GPS. In the event of a bicycle accident, it will monitor the gravity of a fall with an accelerometer, and can notify up to 10 emergency contacts via text message. Its GPS tracks your location so help can find you, Julie reports. ICEdot works with a free smartphone app.
The system is a collaboration between Biju Thomas of SenseTech LLC (based in Denver) and ICEdot CEO Chris Zenthoefer, according to icedot.org, which says: “Biju had envisioned a sensor that would call for help in case of a major bike wreck and ICEdot had an existing emergency profile and sms-based emergency contact system.”
The safety device is based on complex algorithms developed by SenseTech’s chief scientific officer, Timothy Bauer, PhD. They translate raw sensor data from the on-board gyroscope and 3 axis accelerometer in determining if and when forces pose a safety threat to the rider’s brain, as icedot.org explains.
In other product news, Gizmodo writers are applauding Volvo’s new inflatable child seat. Although it is only a concept product at the moment, Andrew Liszewski writes that it is “just as safe as everything already on the market,” as it is made from a drop-stitch fabric that can be inflated to very high pressures. That fabric, he notes, was developed by the military in an attempt to create inflatable planes.
Volvo’s just over 11-pound inflatable rear-facing child seat can be inflated in less than 40 seconds, using a built-in, silent pump, Liszewski writes. It can be deflated the same way, and folds up to easily fit into a backpack. Its electronics are bluetooth-enabled, meaning theoretically it could be inflated and deflated using a smartphone app, he notes.
Also writing for Jalopnik, Patrick George calls Volvo’s inflatable car seat “very clever” and “genius.” Although Volvo says that it has no plans to bring it to market, George writes:
I hope someone decides to take the concept and run with it. It already sounds like it’s vastly superior to any child seat on the market.