The forthcoming Coros LINX Smart helmet promises to provide music, navigation, live ride data, phone calls and more - all without covering your ears or requiring ear buds. Instead, the LINX uses bone-conduction pods that attach to the helmet straps to transmit sound.
Coros Wearables is launching LINX on Kickstarter in September, offering early buyers $100 off the $199 retail price. (UK pricing was not immediately available.)
“LINX is a smart helmet for people who want to enjoy the key features of their phone while cycling, just like they do while driving their cars without ear buds,” Coros president and CEO Chuck Frizelle said in a press release. “Our unique approach to bone conducting audio allows a more car-like experience while cycling, where your ears safely stay open to what’s happening in your environment even when listening to or adjusting your music or making a phone call.”
The LINX also isn't the first helmet to offer audio. LIVALL's Bling helmet has a Bluetooth connection, built-in speakers and lights. It has not been successful.
Regardless of the audio technology, Coros could face challenges in adoption simply because it is not a known helmet brand. Relatedly, none of the major helmet players have produced something like this.
LINX will have its own app (with a blatantly Strava-like orange theme), and will come in two sizes.