I’ve always wanted to cycle with a Spotify playlist pounding through my ear canals. In London, though, that’s a dangerous idea given the relentless traffic that threatens to side-swipe you every five seconds. Coros Wearables has a solution: a smart cycling helmet with open-ear bone conduction audio. The promise is that you can listen to music, make calls, and follow directions while still hearing everything around you. The helmet connects to your phone over Bluetooth and promises eight hours of playback on a single charge — enough to last even the longest Tour de France climb.
The Omni helmet will keep you safe in other ways too. Two strips of light on the back will illuminate when it gets dark, and an internal crash sensor will alert your family or friends in the event of an accident. These features are similar to the $60 Cosmo Bike light accessory announced earlier this week. With the Omni, however, you get all of these features — plus the bone-conduction audio — in a single, cohesive helmet design. Of course, it will also protect your noggin should you happen to take a fall. Finally, there’s a handlebar-mounted remote for controlling your tunes mid-ride.
Coros Wearables will launch the helmet for $199.99 later this quarter. (A spokesperson for the company told me it was likely to hit retailers in February.) At the moment, however, the company is running a pre-order campaign on Indiegogo with up to 45 percent off the normal price (the cheapest backer tier at the time of writing is $129). It’ll be available in black, red, white or blue, and come with a detachable visor and bag.
If you’re the sort that likes to track their rides, the company is also touting a GPS watch. The Pace has a heart-rate tracker and will handle your running and swimming sessions too. It’s water-resistant to 50 meters and will last up to 30 hours with GPS turned on. There’s no word on pricing just yet, so it’s hard to know how this matches up with the best from Garmin and TomTom. It does, however, use the same app as the Omni cycling helmet — so if you decide to go all-in, you’ll be rewarded with some added convenience. A spokesperson told me that you’ll also be able to export your sessions to third-party fitness apps such as Strava and MapMyRun.