We’ve covered some pretty darn smart motorcycle helmets here at Digital Trends. But while a lot of them offer superior protection in the event of an accident, a new helmet wants to go even further — by promising to call emergency services and text your relatives if you’re in a crash.
Called Helli, it’s the creation of a startup in Pakistan, where only 3 percent of households have cars, and people are therefore far more likely to drive a motorcycle. In addition to calling for an ambulance and your next of kin in the event of an accident, the Helli helmet also comes equipped with Bluetooth, speakers, blood oxygen sensor-based heart rate monitor, and a dashcam.
“We started developing this for two key reasons,” Waqas Khalil, managing director of manufacturers Let’s Innovate, told Digital Trends. “The first one is the fact that a few of our team members use motorbikes to commute, and it was almost impossible to get hold of them while they were commuting. We looked at the options available and everything was either too expensive or way too basic. So we thought let’s develop a helmet that would solve the connectivity problem, but also at the same time increase rider safety. This is where we started incorporating emergency SMS, rider heart rate, and health systems into the helmet using a companion app.”
At present, the team is in closed beta phase for the project, with riders busy testing and providing feedback on the device. The helmets are also being put through the necessary stress testing to improve their shape and strength. Khalil said that the team is working toward a launch sometime in the middle of 2018, or sooner if everything goes perfectly.
“Our pricing tiers vary depending on the market and the feature set in place,” he continued. “Our initial launchpad is Pakistan or relatively low income markets, where a basic version of Helli would cost between $70 and $150, [depending] on taxes.”
This isn’t the first smart helmet we have covered. Previous crowdfunding favorite Skully demonstrated the market for connected bike helmets — only to run into financial problems. Given the possibility for Helli to save lives, let’s hope it can manage to deliver on all its promises!