Forcite Alpine– a hi-tech helmet for skiers and snowboarders, is “the world’s first snow helmet to seamlessly integrate wearable technology to meet the needs of recreational snow athletes.” The helmet, which is set to be released later in 2015, was created by an Australian company, Forcite Helmet Systems. The company’s goal was to make the world’s first smart snow helmet by seamlessly interweaving numerous smart technologies to assist skiers on the slopes. The Forcite Alpine helmet exemplifies how helmets can do much more in addition to protecting a skier’s head.
An HD camera, with a maximum resolution of 1080/120fps is located above the skier’s eyebrow on the helmet. The POV footage is captured through a wide angle 160-degree lens. In order to combat the potentially bumpy footage that may be filmed, Forcite preemptively provided the camera with an image stabilization system. Footage can be replayed in slow motion through the camera as well. In order to do active video recording, there are control buttons built into a side flap on the helmet.
To go along with the HD camera is a wind-resistant microphone that can cancel noise. Not only can the microphone be used to provide sound in videos captured by the camera, but for phone calls as well. This helmet actually has a Bluetooth module— allowing the helmet to communicate the with cell phone of the skier.
Bluetooth 4.1 capabilities are not simply for placing phone calls though. Rather, the Bluetooth also can connect to cell phones to play music through built-in stereo speakers. And through Bluetooth, users within a 50-meter range can communicate with each other via Wi-Fi. All of the Bluetooth features can be controlled onboard Forcite Alpine or through an application on the smart phone.
OLED fog lights are stationed on the helmet on either side of the helmet’s brow camera. These lights help brighten a path for the skier if there is limited visibility. Also, these fog lights can be used simultaneously with the camera to brighten up the image being captured. The fog lights can be activated the same way as the camera’s recording system— through button controls on the side flaps of the helmet.
An altimeter can log runs and heights reached while skiing through this helmet. The performance of the skier in the helmet can be tracked as well, along with location data through an accompanying application. Performance data that is logged, including speed and positioning, can be sent to a third party application. The data services provided by the helmet emit a GPS location (including coordinates and altitude) to an emergency beacon immediately if the sensors in the helmet detect intense impact. If the sensors do not record impact, emergency services can still be reached manually.
Access to the helmet’s built-in microprocessor— which controls all of the helmet’s electric features can be granted through this application as well. The power to these electric features is supplied by a lithium-polymer battery. Reports indicate that that this battery should power the helmet for between six to eight hours of use.
In addition to the hi-tech capabilities of the Forcite Alpine, the simplistic design makes it as natural to wear as any traditional helmet. So while this helmet is packed with numerous hi-tech features, it will keep users safe and connected on the mountain.
“Imagine this technology as a superhuman companion who guides and captures your adventures,” said Boyadgis. Boyadgis and team, have worked to make this helmet a revolutionary technology for all skiers on the slopes. Now we will just have to wait and see how the Forcite Alpine performs when released later this year.