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Hands-on: Specialized ANGi Helmet Crash Sensor

Hands-on: Specialized ANGi Helmet Crash Sensor

Immediately Specialized continued their sluggish invasion into sports activities tech gadgetry with the introduction of the Specialized ANGi standalone pod and absolutely pod-equipped helmet lineup. These related helmet pods alert your family and friends once you crash, but in addition give these people a monitoring hyperlink in your whole experience (and even alert once you don’t come residence on time).  Oh, and Specialized quietly acquired ICEdot (the corporate) a yr in the past and managed to maintain it underneath wraps.

One other oh – the corporate (Specialized) is constructing out a journey assembly/organizing app that ought to in all probability give corporations like Strava pause for thought. However extra on that in a second.

First up is the helmets and sensors, which I’ve gotten a few rides in already – however will wait a couple of months earlier than doing an entire evaluation on it (so I can discover out if I get false positives or worse, actual positives). Nevertheless, within the meantime, right here’s this primary take a look at issues. The video under is notable as I present how the crash detection bits work in real-time:

Although, if you need all of the textual particulars, then learn on! Observe that in case you’re simply studying this intro bit whereas deciding whether or not to learn every thing else: The standalone pod is obtainable for a mere $49. Fairly affordable truly from Specialized. Do they promote something that cheap? I child…principally. Let’s get into the tech particulars.

The Tech Specs:


The ANGi lineup is actually two elements. Or three relying on the way you slice it. You should purchase principally considered one of three issues:

A) Standalone ANGi pod you possibly can connect to any helmet on earth
B) ANGi succesful helmet from Specialized, sans-pod, for later pod addition
C) ANGi outfitted helmet from Specialized, with the pod already hooked up.

About now you’re in all probability questioning what the heck ANGi stands for. No, it’s not ‘Ahhh….Noooooo….Ground…In my face’, however relatively “Angular and G-Force indicator”. Personally, I feel my acronym is a lot better. However perhaps that’s why I don’t work in advertising.

As talked about earlier, Specialized acquired ICEdot a few yr in the past, however this isn’t merely a re-branded ICEdot product. In reality, in speaking to Specialized it feels like there’s extra new than previous. The sensor is totally redone. Beforehand it was a chargeable system, now it’s coin cell. Beforehand it was simply an accelerometer, now it’s obtained a gyro in it as nicely. Beforehand they might solely detect accelerometer influence sort incidents, versus whiplash with the gyro.  To not point out the whole app and on-line platform behind it’s totally different.

The pod itself makes use of a CR2032 coin cell battery, so the identical as most coronary heart price straps and lots of energy meters. Specialized claims it’ll rise up to six months of battery life per battery. All of which connects by way of Bluetooth Sensible to your iOS or Android app. However even the connection is very optimized. For instance it goes to sleep for 5 minute intervals earlier than checking again in to the app. The app in your telephone does the GPS transmission and associated work. However worry not, when you crash the pod immediately alerts the app – it doesn’t proceed to sleep like Garfield for 5 minutes.


As famous earlier, the pod as two primary variants. The standalone one that you would be able to connect to any helmet makes use of a sticky mount, identical to a typical GoPro sticker would. The pod itself is IPX7 waterproof (so you’ll be able to go swimming at 1-meter deep for as much as 30 minutes).

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Whereas the ANGi outfitted helmets include a small mounting plate on the again of them that the pod attaches to.

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It’s barely noticeable.

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Specialized famous that whereas the pod is suitable with any helmet, their validating testing when it comes to detecting crashes and never triggering false positives has solely been accomplished on their helmets utilizing that mount system. They’re fairly assured it’ll carry over to all helmets, however their validating focus has been on their very own helmets.

Talking of which, the brand new ANGi succesful helmets are all MIPS outfitted. And actually, that’s truly MIPS SL. It’s unique to Specialized at this level and primarily integrates the MIPS lining into the helmet padding itself.


Right here’s an inventory of all of the helmets which are ANGi outfitted or succesful as of as we speak (the helmets can be found as of as we speak as properly).  Those the place I’ve famous ‘WITH ANGi’ are people who embrace the pod. Every little thing else is simply ANGi succesful (has the mounting plate):

Align MIPS: $60
Centro MIPS: $80
Echellon II MIPS: $90

Shuffle Youngster LED SB ANGi MIPS: $65
Shuffle Youth LED SB MIPS: $55

Mountain Bike:
Tactic three MIPS: $95
Ambush Comp MIPS [WITH ANGi]: $150
Ambush MIPS [WITH ANGi]: $200
Dissident MIPS [WITH ANGi]: $385 [Holy balls, there’s $385 helmets?!?]

Propero three MIPS [WITH ANGi]: $130
S-Works Prevail II MIPS [WITH ANGi]: $250
S-Works Evade II MIPS [WITH ANGi]: $275

Received all that? Good.

Let’s speak about what it’s like out on the street.

Driving with it:

From a helmet standpoint, it’s only a helmet to me. It matches my noggin and is light-weight (clearly, that’ll differ relying on which helmet you might have). So let’s speak tech. The very first thing you’d do is get the pod activated within the service/platform. Usually it comes with an activation card inside that provides you a code for the primary yr of subscription service, however in my case the playing cards weren’t printed but. You’ll additionally want to offer a bank card for service, even on day 1. That gained’t be charged till day 365, when it’ll value $29/yr for the service.  All of that is accomplished by way of the app.

To pair up a brand new helmet to the platform you’ll merely wake-up the helmet by giving it a light-weight shake, and you then’ll see it within the app to pair. It takes like 6 seconds complete.

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As soon as that’s completed you’ll need to add some emergency contacts. These are the peeps that may get notified each for experience begins in addition to once you do one thing embarrassing.

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Once you add a contact, it’ll textual content them and ask them to verify. In any case, you don’t need somebody to not know they’re getting one thing about you. Notice on the backside how the alerts are divided into two classes:

1) Emergency Alerts
2) Experience Alerts

The emergency alerts are whenever you crash, they usually exit by way of textual content message. Whereas the experience alerts happen if you begin and finish a journey, they usually exit by way of e-mail. Observe that within the case of each myself (Workplace 365) and The Woman (GMail), our journey alerts obtained moved into our Junk E-Mail folders. So go white-list them and encourage your mates/household to double-check it sooner or later.

In the meantime, textual content messages labored each occasions and didn’t get caught anyplace.

To start out a journey it’s tremendous easy, on the app you’ll faucet that ‘Record’ tab on the backside, which then takes you to a single button to press to start out the journey. Simply press it, after which it modifications to point its lively.:

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At this level your contacts will obtain an e-mail together with your present journey location. They will faucet on that e-mail and get then get a map together with your location after which a map of the place you’ve been with monitor dots:

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As of launch day, the entire GPS monitor with greater high quality isn’t but obtainable. Specialized says that’s coming in a number of weeks (they even joked that I’m positive I hear ‘a few weeks’ very often, after which it’s months – they promise they’re a legit ‘real meal deal few weeks’, so we’ll see).  As soon as that occurs you’ll see the complete monitor, which can also be what uploads to apps like Strava and others if you would like.

So what occurs in case you crash? Nicely, first, if you wish to simply mess around with the sensor you possibly can truly do this. They’ve a check mode to see the influence of varied forces. Kinda cool:

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However, let’s say you crash for actual. In that case it triggers the alert, which in your telephone begins a very rattling loud alarm (you’ll be able to hear it within the video in the direction of the top). However there’s a countdown there. you’ve obtained that many seconds to show off the alarm earlier than it notifies somebody. The default is 15 seconds, however you possibly can change that as much as 90 seconds.

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As soon as your time has expired then the app and backend platform notify your emergency contacts by way of textual content message. This all occurs inside 15-20 seconds of the timer expiring. The textual content message permits them to click on on a hyperlink to point out your actual location.

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This in fact does rely in your telephones mobile service, so for those who’re out of vary, this answer gained’t actually work. Although, the unique monitoring hyperlink will present the place you have been up till the purpose you disappeared. As soon as carried out with the experience you’ll simply faucet the button to finish it.

All of this works fairly nicely, and within the handful of rides I’ve completed over the previous few days I haven’t had any false positives. Specialized says they’ve had 200 riders on a beta platform and haven’t had a single false constructive since. They didn’t word if that they had any non-triggers although for actual occasions.  They did word that they tuned the helmet sensor to particularly concentrate on incidents that have been more likely to trigger conditions the place the forces are thought-about sufficient to have you ever both be unconscious or in any other case reminiscence challenged. Which means, when you simply make a stumble off your bike (as is widespread mountain biking), however don’t truly hit your head on the bottom, the sensor is unlikely to set off.

They didn’t need a state of affairs the place it wasn’t helpful to mountain bikers as a result of it was continuously triggering on account of bumps, jumps, and so forth… Extra on my longer testing plans in a second.

What comes subsequent:


In some methods, what comes subsequent is definitely extra fascinating to me. Proper now the platform sends your present dotted location to buddies/household. However Specialized is working to onboard a bunch of routing suppliers with the intention to load your deliberate route straight into the app. They need to hook up with apps like Strava, RideWithGPS and – I quote “As many as possible” different platforms. This can permit them to overlay your deliberate route together with your precise route.

That’s tremendous invaluable for those who exit of mobile vary and associates/household have to start out making an attempt to determine why you haven’t responded – they’ve obtained a spot to start out their search.

As well as, Specialized will quickly be enabling a experience expiration alert. This lets you put an estimated journey time within the app, after which alert pals/household whenever you’re not again in time. Clearly you’ll need to add a small buffer for cookie stops, however the concept is that when you’ve budgeted a 2hr journey and it’s been three.5 hours out within the woods – perhaps somebody ought to find out about that.

Lastly, together with all of that (and particularly within the subsequent “couple weeks”), they’ll allow the GPS journey recording to add to platforms like Strava.  The thought being that the app turns into a one-stop store.

Which in some methods is my solely problem with it. Whereas nice for leisure riders, many extra skilled riders are going to experience with devoted bike computer systems (Garmin/Wahoo/Lezyne/and so forth…). For that, many people don’t need yet one more app to recollect to start out after which inflicting GPS drain on our telephones.  This looks like exactly the kind of factor they might have partnered with Garmin and Wahoo on and captured 99% of the market. For instance, Garmin’s Join IQ platform might have allowed a connection to the sensor, after which leveraged the Garmin itself for GPS. Thus no battery drain in your telephone. It’d even have meant that the second you begin your experience, the sensor begins working. No additional apps. On the flip aspect, Garmin’s system to telephone app monitoring system isn’t precisely recognized for being probably the most secure both.

Lastly, the larger image right here is the Specialized Journey app. The app identify itself isn’t “Specialized Ride”, however simply ‘Ride’, and actually – the sensor isn’t predominately displayed anyplace in it. Specialized’s objective here’s a extra basic app that anybody can use to plan rides. This manner you’ll be able to add new rides, beginning places, present riders, and so forth… All of this exists at this time on the app within the app retailer [iOS and Android].

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Then finally this all ties into the monitoring so individuals can see the place riders are mid-ride utilizing the app, similar to whenever you miss the group or in case you fall off the again.  Why on earth Strava doesn’t do that is in all probability the large query. Specialized says the aim is to exchange the often Fb-driven journey planning that tends to be wonky at greatest.

Nonetheless, the idea has been tried earlier than by smaller gamers, and often with out success because of lack of adoption. However my intestine tells me that if Specialized spends sufficient time advertising this – this might truly take-off. We’ll see.

Talking of time – I’m going to make use of the helmet for the winter as my daily helmet and see how issues go as a long run evaluation. I need to see if I get any false positives, or (hopefully not) any positives. I’ll report again someday this spring, which ought to hopefully give Specialized far more time than wanted to complete up the app items.

With that – thanks for studying!