ICEdot Crash Sensor helmet-mounted sensor could save your life

Crash and the helmet-mounted sensors app sends your location to the emergency services

by David Arthur   September 21, 2012  

Ever worried about crashing when out cycling on your own and nobody being around to phone for help? The new ICEdot Crash Sensor will notify the emergency services or a loved one in the event of a crash.

The ICEdot Crash Sensor is a small sensor that clips to any cycle helmet and relays information via Bluetooth to an app on your smart phone. An impact starts a timer and if you don't stop it before it reaches zero, the app sends an message to the emergency services. The GPS coordinates of your location will be sent so they can easily send help.

As a cyclist, and I'm sure I'm not alone here, I have sometimes pondered what might happen in the event on an incident between me and a car. It doesn't bear much thinking about really, but the alarming number of hit-and-run cases involving cyclists doesn't get you thinking: what if?

So while initially I'm a little sceptical and think the ICEdot Crash Sensor sounds like a bit of a gimmick, it does have real-world potential. There's concerns over just how sensitive it will be and ensuring it works only in an impact that hopefully none of us will experience (but statistically some of us reading this article will), but as the product doesn't have a release date yet, we'll assume they're working on such issues as this. It's also not clear if you can mount it anywhere other the on a helmet, for those that don't wear lids.

I would rather the roads were made safer to cycle on and motorists stopped being so aggressive to cyclists, but until that happens, the ICEdot Crash Sensor is an interesting product development. Will it catch on? I'm not sure. Oh, ICEdot stands for InCase of Emergencies by the way.

Take a look at this video to see it in action

14 user comments

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Great idea, just a shame you need a phone signal for it to work. A phone signal that is non-existent in a lot of the remote places where this would be most useful.

posted by joules1975 [64 posts]
21st September 2012 - 11:04

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And as it's Bluetooth it will drain your phone battery - better head out with one phone for GPS and another for the ICEdot.

posted by chokofingrz [251 posts]
21st September 2012 - 11:25

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joules1975 wrote:
Great idea, just a shame you need a phone signal for it to work. A phone signal that is non-existent in a lot of the remote places where this would be most useful.

True, but if I remember correctly a 999 call will route through any network, rather than just the one you're tied to, so that 'no signal' may not actually be true. Of course, calling your next of kin would be a different matter.

I think this sounds like a great idea, but I'm not sure about the 'disable' button being on the phone. I carry my phone when I'm out as it's running Strava, but I don't usually hear or feel calls what with wind noise, other items in my jersey pockets etc. Obviously it would be loud enough if I had crashed and was stationary, but I was thinking more about false positives.

I mentioned this device to my missus, and she is more or less adamant that I'm buying one!

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2940 posts]
21st September 2012 - 11:28

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Maybe a Blutooth remote between helmet sensor and phone?

I run Strava and Runkeeper for walking and cycling. Walking not likely to be a problem but on my bike my phone is usually in a sealed case (though one that you can activate the touchscreen through, dhb from Wiggle a good £2 worth IMHO) and secreted away in a pocket or worse rucksack.

A good idea though and I'm sure that refinement will produce a good workable product.

Oh and just realised, I don't wear my helmet when I'm out walking! D'OH!

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posted by bikeandy61 [386 posts]
21st September 2012 - 12:40

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By the way - I have an ICE app on my phone that is on my homescreen so should anyone I am with or a stranger find me they can hopefully find my phone and use the info in the app. I recommend getting one folks, they're free on Google Play. Big Grin

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posted by bikeandy61 [386 posts]
21st September 2012 - 12:43

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Nice idea but could be refined;

For the non-helmet wearers some other fxing point perhaps.

For phones which include accelerometers and gps then perhaps these could be utilised and avoid having to use the bluetooth and run down batteries.

Certainly a step ahead of carrying id and contact details. When I was a victim of a crash a couple of years ago the police arrived on the scene just after the ambulance and the officer used one of my phones to call my emergency contacts. Having your emergency contact stored in your phone under the name ICE means that they can do that even if you are not conscious.

Shay

posted by shay cycles [210 posts]
21st September 2012 - 12:53

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The "detect impact" part of this thing is error-prone, and just going to result in false alarms and, worse, false negatives (you have a crash, but this thing doesn't detect it). Further, it's probably unnecessary. Save your money and just install one of the live location tracker phone apps.

E.g. OpenGeoTracker: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.opengeotracker.android

posted by Paul J [558 posts]
21st September 2012 - 13:49

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Great if it works; but if not, ambulances and police cars looking for someone who does not need help? There are never enough ambulances/police cars around.

posted by SideBurn [764 posts]
21st September 2012 - 15:03

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If super-rural without a cell signal is an issue, you should look at Spot Trackers.

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posted by pedalpowerDC [202 posts]
21st September 2012 - 15:12

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I heard that if you use 112 (euro emergency number) it routes you through to 999 but first records your location - does anyone know if this is true?

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posted by TheHatter [810 posts]
21st September 2012 - 19:25

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Not quite... 112 routes to the nearest emergency control centre while 999 goes to the national centre. So the benefit of 112 is that the people you are talking to may know the local area better. But the location is not sent across to them, you still have to explain where the incident is

posted by jimmo62 [59 posts]
21st September 2012 - 21:32

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For me to use this I'd have to use my smart phone on bike and I don't wanna do that. As its to good a piece equipment to take with me on bike. Though I do have a fone with me.

posted by yenrod [100 posts]
21st September 2012 - 23:24

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Quite a neat idea but not for me as I don't have a smart phone Crying

However I strongly recommend everyone setting up some ICE contacts just in case something might happen while out on the road.

posted by Marauder [237 posts]
22nd September 2012 - 11:08

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if this registers impact does that mean you actually need to bang your head on the ground or does it work on rapid deceleration. surely something detecting if the bike was still upright would be better possibly less prone to error. maybe adding this sort of feature and a phone sim to a gps device would be a better solution

Zero emissions so Zero tax

posted by petethegreek [23 posts]
22nd September 2012 - 13:11

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