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Heart rate measurement on your computer without a chest strap

The Smart helmet is a really interesting new design from LifeBeam that measures your heart rate via a sensor on your forehead and relays it wirelessly to your bike computer. That means you don’t have to wear a heart rate strap around your chest.

LifeBeam is an Israeli company that uses technology developed for the defence and aerospace industries. They say that this sensor was first used by air force pilots who can be in danger of blacking out when subject to unusual G forces. The sensor is used to tell them if they’re at risk.

Here's Omry Czapnik from LifeBeam to explain how it all works:

 

Working with Lazer, LifeBeam have transferred the tech over to the sports world. The sensor sits right in the middle of your forehead and there’s a rechargeable processing unit incorporated into the back of the helmet. It sends your heart rate measurement via either ANT+ or Bluetooth 4.0 – you choose the version that works with the computer that you have.

The price of the helmet is US$199 if you preorder now, or US$250/€250 if you wait for the full release later in the year. Go to http://life-beam.com/portfolio/smart/ for all the details.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

19 comments

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ronin [263 posts] 2 years ago
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Great tech, but the taste is a bit sour, knowing that it was developed for military use. A military that uses those fighter jets against Palestinian civilians.

A year to develop shows the close relationship between military and civilian companies in israel; I suppose having a pacifist mentality would not help getting access to military tech.

It's bad enough being buzzed by cars or HGV's whilst cycling, I can't imagine what it would be like to be buzzed by an F16!

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ade [74 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm no hawk, but you don't have to look too hard at materials like kevlar, carbon fibre and titanium to trace their early industrialisation to military uses.

Like it or not, the desire to blow up people you don't agree with has driven a hell of a lot of technological advances that we all benefit from, both in cycling and daily life. This one's just a bit more contemporary than most.

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ribena [174 posts] 2 years ago
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Quote:

I suppose having a pacifist mentality would not help getting access to military tech.

Do you use GPS?

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chokofingrz [404 posts] 2 years ago
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If this takes off we'll all look pretty cool exercising on our turbo trainers, exercise bikes, running machines and cross trainers!

I predict gym-related head injuries to be down 75% within 2 years!

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bfslxo [144 posts] 2 years ago
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GPS which is incorporated into all our mobile phones was a military invention - i guess as mentioned whether you agree with it or not alot of our modern technologies have military backgrounds.
Don't forget the internet was invented by the military during WWII

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Farky [183 posts] 2 years ago
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Jeez - if military inventions was an issue I wouldnt have a non-stick pan never mind teflon coated cables or sprays.

Still...what price?

Also, does it require contact with the forehead or just positioning? Contact doesnt seem like a good idea...positioning tells me it could be an add-on to my own helmet choice.

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mikroos [257 posts] 2 years ago
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Great product. I've heard about it before and it's cool to hear they are making it to the market. The price is quite reasonable too considering the fact it's based on the top model!

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NDD [8 posts] 2 years ago
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Ronin - be careful with what you say - the Israeli military do not use fighter jets to target Palestinian civilians. Yes - they use fighters in the conflict, and yes - Palestinian civilians have died as a result, which is undoubtedly a bad thing, as is any civilian loss of life in a conflict.

But you need to understand that the jets are not used for the purpose of targeting and killing civilians. They are used to target and kill militants and terrorists who are attacking Israel (for whatever reason) - and often Israeli civilians.

I know this is not the right forum for a middle eastern debate, but one needs to be clear on what they are saying. In any event, the technology that comes our of Israel, for both civilian and military purposes is exceptional given that there are so few people living there.

As for the helmet - seems a bit of a nonsense spending all that extra money on something for which there is no real need.

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shay cycles [315 posts] 2 years ago
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This isn't the place for the Middle East debate but surely Ronin is entitled to his view even if you choose to believe what governments say.

As for the helmet I'm more concerned about the tech being built into something that we are advised to replace after 3 years even if not damaged. It would be better if the sensor were removable.

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jarredscycling [456 posts] 2 years ago
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Why does it matter if the product was originally developed for military use? Refusing to use the civilian version developed of the military version isn't going to stop conflict. By definition it has already been developed by the military. A larger concern is civilian developed items that can then be altered for military usage. Either way there is way more money in military usage than cycling usage so just be happy with the wonderful products that trickle down

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NDD [8 posts] 2 years ago
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Ronin is entitled to his view. But it is wrong. My view is not acquired from listening to what governments say via the media. I know for a fact what I have said is correct as several of my family and friends fly said planes.

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farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
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NDD wrote:

Ronin is entitled to his view. But it is wrong. My view is not acquired from listening to what governments say via the media. I know for a fact what I have said is correct as several of my family and friends fly said planes.

So, absolutely no chance of any bias there then...

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ridein [110 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm out. I'd rather have less weight on my head, no battery to recharge and my forehead already has a sweat barrier headband.

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ronin [263 posts] 2 years ago
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NDD wrote:

Ronin - be careful with what you say - the Israeli military do not use fighter jets to target Palestinian civilians. Yes - they use fighters in the conflict, and yes - Palestinian civilians have died as a result, which is undoubtedly a bad thing, as is any civilian loss of life in a conflict.

That's what I said, you just put it in a much better way than I did...  4

Lets face it, on the road us cyclists are all Palestinians!

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bauchlebastart [91 posts] 2 years ago
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Great idea, I'd buy one. The military origins doesn't bother me, can't say the same about the Israeli connection though.

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Zebra [33 posts] 2 years ago
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Ok, I want one. Not sure about the Israeli connection though. But then the US have been a bit nasty in Iraq / Afghanistan etc etc. China is obviously out. Germany, Italy and Japan had that whole WWII thing, and Britain, Spain and France were not exactly nice to the world's indigenous people for a couple of hundred years there. Oh well, looks like I will have to knock something up myself......

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Leviathan [1784 posts] 2 years ago
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ronin wrote:

Great tech, but the taste is a bit sour, knowing that it was developed for military use. A military that uses those fighter jets against Palestinian civilians.

The internet was developed by DARPA. Does hypocrisy and/or ignorance leave a sour taste in the mouth?

Hey, no worries, just flaming yer, you asked for it. But this gadget is cool, no silly chest bands. On a steep climb my pounding head works as a HRM already so collecting the data should be easy.

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ronin [263 posts] 2 years ago
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bikeboy76 wrote:
ronin wrote:

Great tech, but the taste is a bit sour, knowing that it was developed for military use. A military that uses those fighter jets against Palestinian civilians.

The internet was developed by DARPA. Does hypocrisy and/or ignorance leave a sour taste in the mouth?

Hey, no worries, just flaming yer, you asked for it. But this gadget is cool, no silly chest bands. On a steep climb my pounding head works as a HRM already so collecting the data should be easy.

You call that flames, foolish mortal...
Sorry, got carried away  1 I agree the tech is cool. Perhaps the internet kills indirectly, but fighter planes tend to be more direct, and as that's the picture they were using, I'm just responding to their advertising.
I'm sure they are smart guys, I'm sure they would have thought about how to advertise this tech, and that's why I made such a comment.

But for now a certain Johny Storm would like to have a word  4

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sodit [89 posts] 2 years ago
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Who cares  7