Ahead turns any helmet into an iPhone-enabled cycling companion

eBikes have been wildly popular this year. And as new models continue to add tons of smart features and functionality, our helmets can’t help but feel left out. While smart helmets already exist, they’re often overpriced and might not match one’s desired style. Ahead and its Kickstarter campaign want to change this by turning the helmet you already have into Bluetooth-enabled companion for your daily commutes.

Sure, safety isn’t necessary the first thing that comes to mind when you’re cycling, especially not when you’re cruising around on your slick eBike. But for a lot of cyclists, distracted riding can get in the way of your safety.

While there are solutions that let you do all the things you love like listen to music and get turn by turn navigation instructions, they might not be the most stylish options. Plus, if it cracks or gets damaged, you’ll have to buy an entire new expensive helmet.

The recently launched Ahead tackles these issues by being an accessory to your existing helmet. This one-size-fits-all approach is something we’ve seen before with the application of smart technologies, like with the Copenhagen Wheel. Adding smart functionality to an existing product in this way is not only more cost-effective and allows for more customization.

Ahead is essentially comprised of a vibration-based speaker housed in a small puck-like casing that can be added to any helmet in order to keep your hands free and your ears open. It connects to your smartphone over Bluetooth, but rather than use traditional speakers, Ahead takes advantage of an oscillator to pass sound directly into your helmet. Using vibrations not only offers ‘crystal clear audio playback’, but also keeps your ears open to your surroundings, subsequently keeping you safe.

Now it isn’t just Ahead’s clever design that allows it to shine, its incorporated functionally also adds to the overall utility. Ahead lets you do everything you’re probably used to while on the road, but in a distraction-free manner. Make phone calls, jam out to your favorite playlist, talk to Siri, get turn-by-turn navigation and even make phone calls.

Ahead also adds some less-expected features like fitness and activity tracking to help keep you informed about your ride. Even more interestingly, is that Ahead can act as a walkie-talkie, so you can chat with other Ahead devices while you’re out and about.

With still 25 days to go, Ahead has earned over $45,000 towards its initial campaign goal of $50,000. Ahead starts at the early bird special price of $89 and includes everything you need to update your helmet. If all goes as planned, Ahead will be shipping later this year in October.

Ahead snaps instantly onto any helmet and connects to your smartphone, so you can keep safe and stay in touch. Whether you’re cruising to work on your vintage Vespa or tearing up the half-pipe, Ahead keeps your ears open and hands-free.  When you’re moving fast, headphones are dangerous and holding a phone is impossible. Ahead keeps your ears open so you can tune into your music, phone calls or navigation, without tuning out the world. Ahead’s Clear Voice Capture technology means that you’ll be heard clearly on the noisiest city streets, even at up to 60 Km/hr(40 mph). No need for a flimsy, annoying mic in front of your mouth.

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