We’ve seen a few different head- and tail-light-equipped bike helmets over the past several years, and some of the things have looked pretty … flashy. The Faro is a bit different, though, in that it has a classier, more refined appearance.
Designed by American startup Unit 1, the Faro features a narrow strip of 15 white LEDs in front, a strip of 15 red LEDs in the back, along with a grid of 40 RGB LEDs below the latter. The grid is covered by black mesh “tear-proof” fabric, so it’s more or less hidden when it isn’t illuminated.
An iOS/Android app is utilized to set the lights to different flashing patterns. If an optional Bluetooth handlebar-mounted remote is used, the rear LED grid also functions as a turn indicator – with the LEDs sequentially illuminating in the direction of the turn – or as a brake light.
Like Specialized’s ANGi line of helmets, the Faro is additionally capable of detecting the sudden impacts associated with accidents. When it does, it triggers the app to ask the rider if they’re alright. If there’s no response within a given amount of time, the app then proceeds to send an SOS message to a predetermined emergency contact. That message includes the cyclist’s current location.
Safety-conscious riders will also be interested in knowing that an upgraded version of the helmet features MiPS technology, which has been shown to reduce the likelihood of rotational brain injuries in collisions.
The whole thing tips the scales at a claimed 480 g (size medium), is IPX6 waterproof (it can resist high-pressure spraying), and should be able to run its lights for up to 10 hours per 3-hour USB charge of its 1,850-mAh lithium-ion battery.
It’s currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of US$129 will get you a basic non-MiPS Faro – assuming it reaches production, that is. The turn indicator remote is an additional $29, with the planned retail price of the helmet sitting at $189.
You can see it in use, in the video below.
Sources: Kickstarter, Unit 1
FARO: A Sleek, Visibility-First Smart Helmet