spe­cial­ized launches crash-de­tect­ing hel­met tech

Si­mon Smythe on a mo­tion sen­sor and app combo that sum­mons help af­ter an ac­ci­dent

Cycling Weekly - - TECH LAUNCH NEWS -

Spe­cial­ized is claim­ing to have “trans­formed the modern hel­met into a live track­ing de­vice, crash de­tec­tor, and safety bea­con that con­nects you to help when you need it most.”

The head­line new tech­nol­ogy, launched this week, is ANGI, which stands for An­gu­lar and G-force in­di­ca­tor, a patented, hel­met-mounted sen­sor that fea­tures a built-in ac­celerom­e­ter and gy­ro­scope. It mea­sures the forces trans­mit­ted to your hel­met dur­ing an im­pact as well as the harm­ful ro­ta­tional forces that oc­cur dur­ing crashes when there’s no ac­tual im­pact to the hel­met. It will also send a text alert with your GPS lo­ca­tion to your emer­gency con­tacts telling them you may have been in a crash.

But that’s not all. Up un­til now Spe­cial­ized’s hel­mets haven’t used MIPS pro­tec­tion — the Swedish-de­vel­oped ‘Mul­ti­di­rec­tional Im­pact Pro­tec­tion Sys­tem’ that lit­er­ally adds an ex­tra layer of pro­tec­tion — a low-fric­tion, in­ner liner within the hel­met that al­lows the hel­met’s foam liner to ro­tate in­de­pen­dently (by 10-15mm) of the MIPS layer dur­ing an an­gled im­pact.

Formerly as­so­ci­ated with and fi­nanced by Giro and Bell, who in­vested in MIPS tech­nol­ogy as far back as 2014, Spe­cial­ized points out in its press re­lease that “MIPS is a pub­licly traded com­pany on the Stock­holm Stock Ex­change. Giro and Bell no longer have own­er­ship.”

All new-for-2019 Spe­cial­ized hel­mets will ei­ther be equipped with ANGI or will fea­ture an Angi-ready at­tach­ment point, and, in ad­di­tion, all will be avail­able with MIPS.

ANGI: how does it work?

You pair the de­vice with a smart­phone equipped with the Spe­cial­ized Ride App (free one-year Ride Pre­mium sub­scrip­tion with the pur­chase of an Angi-equipped hel­met or af­ter­mar­ket sen­sor).

Dur­ing your ride, the ANGI sen­sor will de­tect the kind of forces com­monly as­so­ci­ated with a crash. If these forces are de­tected, the sen­sor will con­nect to the Ride App on your smart­phone, sound an alarm, and start a count­down. If you’re OK, you just can­cel the count­down. If you’re in­jured and un­able to can­cel the count­down, the Ride App sends the text to your emer­gency con­tacts you’ve listed in the Ride App.

ANGI also lets you share ride plans be­fore you go out, with an op­tion to pro­vide your con­tacts with a live track­ing link so they can fol­low you in real time.

Ob­vi­ously ANGI com­mu­ni­cates through your net­work provider and re­quires a sig­nal for full func­tion­al­ity, but in case there isn’t one avail­able, you set your es­ti­mated ride time be­fore you leave. If you haven’t com­pleted your ride within that time frame, ANGI will send a no­ti­fi­ca­tion to your con­tacts with your last up­loaded lo­ca­tion re­gard­less of whether you have a phone sig­nal or not.

MIPS: star of the show

In­de­pen­dent test­ing con­sis­tently demon­strates that those ex­tra few mil­lime­tres of con­trolled move­ment that MIPS en­ables re­duce some of the twist­ing forces that would oth­er­wise be trans­ferred to your skull, with a lit­eral knock-on im­pact on your brain. Vir­ginia Tech, a leader in test­ing hel­mets for team and mo­tor sports, tested 30 hel­mets ear­lier this year. All four of the lids that gar­nered full five-star rat­ings were MIPS equipped and only one MIPS hel­met got three stars along­side 11 NONMIPS hel­mets.

While there are sev­eral types of MIPS lay­ers avail­able, each ver­sion meets the same safety stan­dard, in­clud­ing the new MIPS SL, an ul­tra-light and, ac­cord­ing to Spe­cial­ized, supremely com­fort­able ver­sion of MIPS that’s avail­able ex­clu­sively to Spe­cial­ized on some of its top road and moun­tain hel­mets.

Spe­cial­ized says that with MIPS SL it has es­sen­tially in­te­grated MIPS tech­nol­ogy within the hel­met pad­ding it­self via a min­i­mal­ist ‘watch­band’ at­tach­ment sys­tem, which pro­vides the same 10-15mm of ro­ta­tion in ev­ery di­rec­tion and of­fers the same brain pro­tec­tion ben­e­fits as other ver­sions of MIPS.

MIPS SL de­buts on Am­bush, S-works TT, S-works Evade II, and S-works Pre­vail II hel­mets.

The ANGI sen­sor will alert your con­tacts in the event of a col­li­sion

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