Research and development focused on the aerospace industry has spawned dozens of designs useful in everyday life. Now LifeBeam, an Israeli company that designs high-end gadgets worn by jet pilots and astronauts, has designed a “smart” cycling helmet fitted with sensors that can track your heart rate, gait, and associated calorie burn. Not a cyclist? Then check out their smart baseball cap (picture below).
Years ago, tech wizards at the Ames Research Center created a coating to protect satellites and space equipment from getting damaged by space debris; this morphed into scratch-resistant eyeglass lenses. NASA geeks developed a padding embedded with viscoelastic bubbles to better cushion astronauts during blast off. Now this same technology is inside your pricey running shoes.
(Brace yourself for a shock – NASA did NOT invent Tang orange breakfast drink. General Foods introduced it in 1957, years before astronauts took it to space.)
LifeBeam’s first test subjects were pilots, astronauts, and special forces. They developed wearable bio-sensing technology that could endure extreme activities and space travel. Now they bring that same technology to Earth to let you measure your own performance with the same lightweight, precision gear.
The company invests heavily in research and development to continually push the leading edge of human performance measurement. They are a privately owned developer and manufacturer based in Israel with operation centers in the US and China.
Designers dream up adventurous devices for every part of your body
Designers of wearable devices are getting more adventurous; dreaming up new gear for different body parts using tiny computer chips designed specifically for use in hats, vests, watches, and belts. LifeBeam says to fit such gadgets inside a hat, it had to develop different technology from that used in most wrist-worn devices. Instead of the EKG electrocardiography used in most banded devices, it relies on LED sensors that measure how quickly blood flows through the veins
These sensors collect site-specific data (from the wearer or his micro-environment) and relay this information wirelessly to Android, iOS or Windows devices via Bluetooth. Results are displayed on-screen, or users can also connect to Bluetooth-enabled treadmills, exercise bikes or GPS trackers.
You can order a LifeBeam helmet or hat (specify black or white) direct from Life-Beam.com, each costs $99.
Green Prophet has brought you examples of wearable tech which range from artistic exploration (Lauren Bowker’s clothes that change color based on environmental micro-conditions, as example) to garments that reach for immediate practically (car-sensing jackets for cyclists, or self-activated head protection).
Similar to 3D printing, this burgeoning field is rapidly maturing. Watch this space for more news.