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New Bell Helmets Incorporate 360-Degree Video Camera

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You probably saw this one coming.  At CES this week, Bell and its sister company Giro (makers of bicycle helmets) announced a line of “smart” helmets incorporating a 360° 4K video camera manufactured by 360fly. The camera is incorporated into the crown of the helmets in order to capture action both in front of and behind the rider (and to the sides, of course). The street motorcycle model is the Bell Star with 360fly (pictured). The helmets should eventually have available three features, including AutoPilot action tracking, Collision Avoidance Alert and Live Streaming. For added value, the 360fly camera can be removed from each helmet and used independently.

Here is the press release from Bell’s parent company, BRG Sports’:

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 5, 2016 – Action-sports helmet-industry leaders, BRG (Bell, Ridell, Giro) Sports, and 360-degree camera innovators, 360fly, announced a full line of “smart” helmets, integrated with 360fly’s proprietary 360o 4K video, at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The innovative product line encompasses several of BRG Sports’ core sport categories and brands, comprising the following products:

  • Bell Star with 360fly – Driven by the essential needs of the modern racer, and completely new for 2016, the Bell Star is the most advanced full-face street motorcycle helmet on the market today
  • Bell Moto 9 Flex with 360fly – Bell’s most comprehensive off road motorcycle helmet, featuring its proprietary “progressive layering” energy-management system
  • Bell Super 2R with 360fly – Bell’s most versatile and award-winning all-mountain helmet, with an innovative detachable chin bar feature for maximum performance and adaptability
  • Giro Edit with 360fly – Giro’s lightest full-featured snow helmet

“The benefits of integrating digital video and intuitive digital technology into action sports helmets is a ground-breaking advancement for our sports,” said Terry Lee, Executive Chairman & CEO, BRG Sports. “This “smart helmet” collaboration with 360fly is yet another landmark milestone within our 60-year history of helmet innovation and industry leadership.”

“From day one, our focus has extended beyond the baseline benefits of immersive 360-degree VR content, and into the expansive universe of intuitive “smart” technologies that our singlelens technology enables,” said Peter Adderton, 360fly CEO. “These helmets are merely the first of many unique applications for these technologies enabled by our proprietary 360fly 4K platform.”

All four helmets feature an integrated 360fly 360o 4K camera, capable of also shooting conventional 16×9 video. The video capabilities are driven by 360fly’s proprietary mobile app, featuring a simple user interface that allows users to instantly edit and share content to popular platforms such as Facebook or YouTube. Shooting at 2880 x 2880 at up to 30 FPS, the integrated camera also includes a built-in GPS sensor to tag locations, a barometer/altimeter and accelerometer all powered by an advanced Qualcomm® Snapdragon 800 processor. Like the original 360fly camera, the integrated camera comes standard with Bluetooth, built-in Wi-Fi and has up to two hours of battery life.

For significantly added value, the integrated 360fly camera is detachable, allowing it to be utilized independent of the helmet by the user in the widest variety of lifestyle applications.

In addition to the existing mobile app functionality featured in the integrated helmets, 360fly’s CES exhibit showcased live demonstrations of a several new technologies that are a result of the company’s new 360fly 4K platform and are currently planned for inclusion across the advanced BRG Sports helmet line including:

  • AutoPilot action tracking – Allows users to track and follow the main subjects in their videos, making it easy to create dynamic edits with the rider at the center of it all.
  • Collision Avoidance Alert – Senses and automatically notifies the rider of potential oncoming dangers that are outside the rider’s natural field of vision
  • Live Streaming — For professional, commercial or advanced users looking to live stream 360-degree video, the integrated camera pairs with its Micro-HDMI accessory base (sold separately) and is able to output a real-time full 360-degree HD video stream

These features will undergo a rigorous series of trials and tests over the coming months in preparation for the helmets’ debut at retail later in the year.

Another new feature planned for the camera-integrated helmet line is “Highlight Reel” – an auto-editing function that compiles a 1-2-minute highlight reel based on the specific sections of video that feature the most action

The majority of VR devices on the market today are purely focused on consumption of VR content and not creation. From day one, 360fly’s mission has been to put the power to create immersive personal VR content into the hands of consumers. There simply is no other comparable option for creating and consuming 360-degree immersive video and personal VR content on the market today.

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19 Comments

  1. Norm G. says:

    it’s gotta whole HALO 5 thing going on…? i’ll take it.

  2. Snake says:

    Not a comment regarding safety: how does a spherical object embedding in the crown affect DOT & SNELL test results? o.O It must do *something* to the anvil drop test results, maybe concentrate the force into a smaller area?

    • roncorleon says:

      …good point, but it looks like a breakaway, kind of like those “really cool” Mohawks lol

  3. Jim says:

    The NSA loves this. Every rider can be a tool of Big Brother.

  4. Dan W. says:

    Think of the videos of all those drivers beside you texting away.

  5. Dino says:

    “Shooting at 2880 x 2880 at up to 30 FPS, the integrated camera also includes a built-in GPS sensor to tag locations, a barometer/altimeter and accelerometer all powered by an advanced Qualcomm® Snapdragon 800 processor. Like the original 360fly camera, the integrated camera comes standard with Bluetooth, built-in Wi-Fi and has up to two hours of battery life.”

    Holy Crap! GPS, Barometer, Altimeter, Accelerometer, WiFi, Bluetooth… Wonder if this thing could put the bike on Autopilot Cruise Control?? Maybe I could get it to do my taxes?? Maybe not.

    Probably best to stick to making cool videos! I wonder if it has a looping feature, to hold about 10-20 minutes of video, and just keep looping? Like a Dash-Cam, just keep it running and if something good/bad/cool happens, you just pause it and rewind for all the best shots, or video evidence of the bung-hole that hit you, etc…

  6. The Spaceman says:

    If only their Mommies had “look at meee!” when they jumped off the high-dive, all this video equipment wouldn’t be necessary.

  7. mickey says:

    Wish they showed a sample video taken with one. How do you watch things in a 360 circle at one time? Kind of like those IMAX shows only with 1 more side (and a lot smaller)?

  8. Oilhhead says:

    Awesome! This will help me
    soooo much while texting on the dragon!

  9. Alex says:

    Very cool idea. That it’s 4K is very surprising, and I love the fact that he camera is removable, so one day you’re capturing riding vistas or stunts, depending what you’re into, taking it skydiving, making home movies with your girlfriend :()

    • roncorleon says:

      ….You have got it right there! That’s what makes it. Girlfriend probably wouldn’t mind….but the whole data collection. They would know how fast, or be able to record the information. My auto manufacturer denied me warranty coverage because they said I had been going 91 mph previously, even though it is limited to 155???? Don’t want the camera feed to be available to someone in a car passing by? or a neighbor??? But yes, very versatile

  10. Butch says:

    Target Fixation : You go where you look.

  11. TexinOhio says:

    Kind of a cool idea. Much more streamlined than whats out there now if you’re into this kind of thing.

    • MGNorge says:

      From our RC use on planes and quads we use the Mobius Action cams which have a very small frontal area than a GoPro.

  12. TF says:

    Wow, a new career opportunity! I am going to buy a new helmet and then just ride around all day generating street view images for Google Earth!