23 January 2014

Product Review: ICEdot Crash Sensor

Well, I ran out of excuses that were stopping me from commuting to work on the bike, so Monday morning, I bundled up, and once again rode to the train station. It was still cold, it was still dark, and it felt good to ride. “Aren’t you worried that the cars won’t see you” ?

Of course that is a concern. But, It isn’t enough of one to make me give up the bike, and retreat to the “safety” of a car. That concern is why I take precautions such as riding with lights, and having reflective highlights on my clothes and bags. No matter how visible you are, or what precautions you take, there is always a chance you will be involved in an accident.

If that happens (yes, if. I like being a little optimistic), there are several products to make sure that emergency responders are able to find your information. From just the basic “name, address, telephone” to a complete medical history, they run the spectrum. There is, however, only one that I am aware of that will also text your family and let them know where you are.

ICE. (that’s ICE”dot”) is an emergency ID and notification service that allows first responders to obtain your health information by entering an access code from a sticker or bracelet – similar to other services. But, depending on where you are riding, the time between your crash and when you are noticed could be considerable, and – in case of a serious accident – possibly too late.

That is where ICEdot’s latest product the crash sensor comes in. The crash sensor is a small device that mounts to your helmet, and connects to your ICEdot profile via a smartphone app. The sensor is able to detect motion, changes in forces and impacts. In the event of critical forces, the device triggers the app over low-energy Bluetooth to sound an alarm and initiate an emergency countdown. Unless the countdown clock is stopped, the app will then notify your emergency contacts and send GPS coordinates of the incident so that appropriate follow up actions can be taken.

Fortunately, I haven’t had the chance to test the sensor in a real-life situation, but I have accidentally knocked my helmet off of a table, and received frantic texts from my emergency contacts asking if I was okay.

Before your crash sensor will tell people where you are, you need to make sure that you turn on the sensor in the app on your smartphone. I’ve made sure that is part of my pre-commute routine before I throw my leg over the top tube.

The crash sensor is $149, and comes with a premium one-year membership ($10/year for renewal). If your outdoor sports adventures take you to places where your family may not know exactly where you are, this device is invaluable, and could very well save your life.

After your crash sensor detects an impact, it sends a signal to your phone. You have 45 seconds to stop the countdown, or a message is sent to your emergency contacts.

The incident report on your device, showing a map with your location, and impact details  

This is the text your emergency contacts get.

More information can be found at ICEdot.org

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