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Redmond, Washington-based tech startup Coros Wearables announced last week on Kickstarter that the company’s LINX smart cycling helmet is now available for purchase. With LINX, Coros hopes to tackle the challenge of merging tech and bike on the open road.
Employing bone conduction technology and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, LINX enables riders to answer calls, be navigated and listen to music without taking their ears off the road. By sending vibrations through a rider’s cheek bones, LINX bypasses the eardrum and sends audio directly to the inner ear. Coros believes that this will allow cyclists’ ear canals stay open, and make them more likely to hear and avoid roadside hazards.
Riders interact with their smart helmet through a small remote control that mounts on bike handlebars and a companion smartphone app. The Coros LINX smart remote has the capability to pause, play, adjust volume, skip tracks and handle phone calls.
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“I can’t wait to show the Kickstarter community just how much the Coros connected helmet intends to turn biking on its ear, literally, creating a richer, safer, more tuned-in experience for cyclists,” Coros president and co-founder Chuck Frizelle said in a statement.
Coros has already tested LINX extensively. According to LINX’s Kickstarter page, numerous competitors at the Seattle to Portland (STP) ride tested prerelease helmets, and the anonymous reviews were overwhelmingly positive. STP is one of the largest cycling events in the Unites States, totaling 10,000 cyclists and covering 200 miles.
LINX met its Kickstarter campaign’s funding goal of $50,000 just 12 hours after its launch. As of Wednesday—just six days into the campaign—backers had raised more than $114,000. Early adopters can expect delivery of their new smart helmets as early as October with a full retail launch scheduled for Nov. 1.
LINX is the initial product offering of Coros.
“We have a passionate core team of outdoor sports enthusiasts, coupled with strong partner agencies and a respected technology and manufacturing team specializing in wearables and consumer electronics,” Frizelle said in a statement in July.