Calling Bunk on Internet Connected Bicycle Helmets

As many PacketU readers know, I have been bullish on IPv6 and Wireless due in part to Cisco’s position on the “Internet of Everything”. I even would go as far as to suggest that those technical areas would be a good area of focus for those wanting to prepare for technology trends and meet market demands. This morning I saw a television commercial by Cisco Systems on the Internet of Everything. While I enjoyed this  commercial and found it inspiring, I have to go on the record as calling bunk on Internet connected bicycle helmets. Take a glance at the video below (airing on major television networks).

Cisco TV Spot, ‘Ambulance’ – iSpot.tv’

Although I believe connectivity will dramatically increase in the future and that the Internet of things will be a reality, I think we need to keep things in perspective. This commercial demonstrates a world of robots that make decisions based on [pre]programming. I think that several things shown are feasible and beneficial. However when thinking about the case of an IoE connected helmet, I would raise the following concerns.

  • Will there be a standard API for protective equipment (heck we struggle with this one in our industry)?
  • Powering this would require a small solar cell or require batteries and recharging
  • As a consumer, would you pay $50+ for an Internet connected helmet for your child as opposed to $15 for a standard helmet
  • How/where would a helmet full of sensors and connected to the Internet be associated with a cyclist (and the associated privacy concerns)
  • What information could an emergency room doctor really glean anyway? Impact area and intensity? Could well-trained and empowered EMT’s not provide better information (and assuming they are empowered, make better decisions where they should be transported to)?
  • Too many variables that need to be measured to be useful

As I said, I liked the commercial and I think it inspires thinking about new possibilities. I just think we need to think about feasibility as well as what we are trying to achieve. While the Internet of Everything is an interesting concept and the world will certainly become more and more connected, some things will be left to humans and remain manual processes.

Readers of this article may also enjoy:

  1. Could the IoE be the Killer App for IPv6?

About Paul Stewart, CCIE 26009 (Security)

Paul is a Network and Security Engineer, Trainer and Blogger who enjoys understanding how things really work. With over 15 years of experience in the technology industry, Paul has helped many organizations build, maintain and secure their networks and systems.
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2 Responses to Calling Bunk on Internet Connected Bicycle Helmets

  1. Biju says:

    Paul, Yes..this can work and we’ve already made the device that Cisco is copying for this commercial. Battery life is a huge variable as with most things now, but the device is already out on a few thousand helmets. please check it out http://www.IceDot.org

  2. Brian says:

    I agreed with Biju. This technology is readily available and in use in motorcycle safety helmets. See http://www.thermahelm.com

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