Helmet with built-in Bluetooth "solves your communication problems"

Or is it simply an unecessary and dangerous distraction?

by Mark Appleton   January 17, 2011  

Helmet phone.jpg

For many cyclists, a bike ride is a chance to get away from the distractions and diversions of modern life and enjoy the simple pleasures of fresh air, open countryside and exercise.

Yes, these days we’re more likely than not to take a phone with us for emergencies but usually not with the express intention of making and receiving calls while on the move. But according to one manufacturer there is a market for a helmet with a built-in phone, allowing you to do just that without the need to stop, reports SF Gate.

The bike blog tells us that manufacturers, UClear, claim that “Military Technology Solves Your Communication Problems”. Alternatively, some might say that the helmet’s built-in Bluetooth device creates an attention-diverting problem.

Researchers at the Western Washington University in the USA, have concluded that even pedestrians cannot walk in a straight line while talking on a mobile phone,  dubbing the phenomenon “attentional blindness”.

Professor Ira Hyman, a psychologist who led the study said: “Cell phone use causes people to be oblivious to their surroundings while engaged in even a simple task such as walking.

“Cell phone users walk more slowly, change directions and weave more often - and fail to notice interesting and novel objects. The effect appears to be caused by the distraction of a cell phone conversation, because people walking in pairs did not display the same range of problems. Something about the conversation seems to limit attentional capacity.

“If people experience so much difficulty performing the task of walking when they’re on a cell phone, just think what this means when put into the context of driving safety. People should not drive while talking on a cell phone.”
 

 

12 user comments

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Just as with driving - if someone calls, stop and take it. Simples.

relaxing

PzychotropicMac's picture

posted by PzychotropicMac [75 posts]
17th January 2011 - 10:52

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As per photo, obviously designed for dummies.

antonio

antonio's picture

posted by antonio [896 posts]
17th January 2011 - 11:28

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the next version will be redesigned so it's actually over your ear Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7025 posts]
17th January 2011 - 11:34

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Does it have a weight to balance it out on the right? I wouldn't one side of my neck to muscle up like Schwarzenegger's while the other is my natural scrawny state.

posted by bazzargh [140 posts]
17th January 2011 - 11:37

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I've gone on MTB day rides with a bluetooth earpiece in situ. Sometimes life means you need to be available, and stopping, finding the mobile, taking gloves off to answer it etc., can be a right royal pain.

Would not even consider it for my commute though.

Really, though?

posted by workhard [292 posts]
17th January 2011 - 11:39

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The road's already got enough 'helmets' with bluetooth, most of them driving taxis, white vans and Ford Mondeos full of double-glazing samples

Just ignore the bloody phone...

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [406 posts]
17th January 2011 - 11:58

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I can see the advantage of this - the number of times when I used to commute that my phone would ring and by the time I stopped, got the phone out and answered I would miss the call.

I wouldn't want to have a detailed work conference call but it would be handy for when the wife calls to check I'm going to be back in time for whatever.

Or for if I wanted to call and tell someone I was late etc. and didn't want to be even later by digging around for the phone.

I don't see why it's so big though ? I have a bluetooth earpiece and it's less than half a finger-length.

Is it about a bicycle ?

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [468 posts]
17th January 2011 - 12:05

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The last thing I want to be doing when I'm on a busy road is having a phone conversation.

And if I'm on a nice dedicated cycle path somewhere in the countryside I probably want some piece and quiet (and wouldn't be wearing a helmet anyway).

So not for me thanks Smile

Chutzpah's picture

posted by Chutzpah [67 posts]
17th January 2011 - 12:17

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is there a reason it's functionally better than this:

http://www.expansys.com/expansys-waterproof-bluetooth-headset-205899

which is twenty quid and very small?

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7025 posts]
17th January 2011 - 12:18

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I really do wonder what our society is coming to. I am amazed that there isn't just outrage at a product like this.

It's my opinion obviously but I am saddened by the fact that some of the people responding feel that they have to have immediate access to their mobile phone. Even if you are so phone-whipped that you believe that you can't go anywhere without it. Lets say by the time you have stopped your bike, got your phone out of the day bag it's stopped ringing. How long has that taken - 2 minutes. Can you not just phone back? Now if you are a surgeon who for some reason is doing an operation by remote and they have just phoned to say - "oops nicked the Aorta and the patient is bleeding out" an immediate answer is probably vital. Anything else - you're living in the Alan Sugar world where money is God. I'm surprised that you have time to leave the office for a pee you must be SO important.

The phrase "get a life" comes to mind.

bikeandy61's picture

posted by bikeandy61 [361 posts]
17th January 2011 - 17:14

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bikeandy61 wrote:
The phrase "get a life" comes to mind.

You know nothing of my life, my circumstances, nor my relationships professional and personal. Nor anyone else's.

Several other phrases for you come to mind. "Idiot" will suffice.

Really, though?

posted by workhard [292 posts]
17th January 2011 - 20:44

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"...and if it happens you crash while wearing it, look at the bright side! You'll have a bluetooth earpiece embedded IN your ear.."

Stephanos's picture

posted by Stephanos [23 posts]
18th January 2011 - 8:52

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