An additional brake light on a rider’s helmet appears to be a practical way of enhancing the safety of motorcyclists. It directly illuminates the field of view of other roads users and can notify them when a vehicle is decelerating, even when the rider has not applied the brakes. The Cosmos Connected goes a step further due to its capacity to detect possible accidents and request for assistance.
The device was developed in France by Cosmos Connected, a Paris-based startup company. There are also other smart brake lights on the market; just a few days ago we reported about Brake Free’s successful campaign that adopted the innovative concept of autonomous brake lights (such as Vololight, BMW’S dynamic brake light and Stoptix) and modified it to create a helmet add-on device.
Regarding the brake light functionality, Cosmo Connected’s kit uses an accelerometer sensor when detecting deceleration, irrespective of whether it is a consequence of actual braking, downshifting or just closing the throttle. Whatever the case, twelve LED brake lights are activated in order to warn the traffic behind the bike that it is slowing down.
Encased in a weather-proof shell that has been built using EPDM rubber and polycarbonate, the device weighs only 5.3 ounces(150 grams) and it is attached to the helmet magnetically through a base plate made of plastic that is held in place by an adhesive tape that is two-sided. The device can therefore easily fit different helmets as long as they are fitted with a magnetic-based mount. This method of attachment is thought to be relatively safe in the event that an accident occurs since the lightweight assembly should disengage from the motorbike rider’s helmet just before it gets caught on any uneven surfaces that would make it a pivot point.
Besides its brake light functionality, the device can also be configured in flashing or permanent mode, also working as a warning light while the rider is traveling or has just parked on the roadside due because of poor visibility.
A 900 mAh Lithium Ion rechargeable battery is used to power the device, and it can last for a maximum of eight hours after a full charge. However, if it is used in hazard or continuous mode, the operation time is reduced to three hours.
Incorporating a gyroscope helps the accelerometer to detect imminent accidents, whereupon the device automatically connects to the user's smartphone using Bluetooth technology and transmits an emergency alert. The user can specify a maximum of three people to contact and also highlight any important medical details that the first persons to respond to the accident should be aware of (or example medications, pre-existing health conditions, allergies and so on).
The device, by default, sends notifications of the potential accident to these contacts through SMS or email and it includes information relating to the bike’s GPS location. Where it is appropriate, the app also sends alerts to roadside emergency services. The emergency services will then make a call to the motorbike rider for a maximum of three minutes so as to ascertain whether assistance is required.
At present, the device is the focus of a Kickstarter fundraising campaign that has raised over 80 percent of its funding target, with a lot of time remaining. If all goes to plan (and it is important to take into consideration that such crowd funding campaigns usually do not), shipments to early-bird backers are scheduled for July and the device will be available for sale starting from September. The device will be designed in various color finishes—white and three variations of black-matte, shiny and satin—all retailing at US$129. There will also be a silver edition going for $162 and a premium carbon fiber version.