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Lumos Matrix bike helmet review – TechCrunch

With many people are nonetheless roughly confined to our personal properties and restricted social areas for the foreseeable future, and for lots of you, that has led to a rediscovery of the thrill of biking. Bike using is a good way to spend time outside exploring your individual city or metropolis, and for those who’re simply moving into exploring this passion, or for those who’re a long-time bike rider in search of an improve, the Lumos Matrix smart helmet is a wise piece of tech with a stable design that mixes quite a lot of related options into one nice bundle.

The fundamentals

The Matrix is a model of Lumos’ sensible helmet up to date with fashionable, city helmet aesthetics and a brand new massive LED show on the again that may be programmed to point out quite a lot of completely different patterns, together with easy pictures. It features a built-in entrance mild along with the rear mild panel, in addition to built-in flip alerts that work with an included bodily handlebar distant, or in live performance with an Apple Watch app. It’s obtainable in both a gloss white end, or a matte black (as reviewed).

Lumos has designed the Matrix to work with a variety of head sizes, thanks partly to 2 units of included velcro pads for the within of the helmet, however due principally to the adjustable, ratcheting sizing harness on the within. This may be simply dialled to tighten or loosen the helmet, serving to it match heads ranging between 22 and 24-inches in measurement.

The outside of the Lumos is fabricated from an ABS plastic that gives full weatherproofing, so as to put on it within the rain with out having to fret in regards to the situation of the embedded electronics. There’s additionally a MIPS (Multi-directional Influence Safety System) choice you could add on if you need an extra degree of security and safety, although that’s not but transport and needs to be “obtainable quickly” in response to the corporate.

Lumos Matrix 5A button built-in into the helmet’s strap helps you to flip it on and off, and cycle between the built-in patters. You possibly can pair the helmet by way of Bluetooth along with your smartphone, too, and use the devoted app to customise options together with brightness, and even creating your individual customized patterns for the rear show. Within the field, you’ll additionally discover a charging cable with an ordinary USB A connector on one finish, and a proprietary magnetic charging floor on the opposite for powering up each your helmet and the handlebar distant.

Design and efficiency

The Lumos Matrix encompasses a principally steady floor, with 4 vents on the highest of the helmet for airflow, with an built-in brim constructed into the shell. As talked about, there’s a front-facing mild built-in to the helmet and guarded by a clear plastic masking, in addition to a rear panel of seven×11 led lights, which create a dot matrix-style show that may show pictures or animations, together with scrolling textual content. These LEDs are all full RGB, permitting the person to take full benefit for their very own, or built-in show creations.

Lumos additionally makes the Kickstart, which encompasses a extra aerodynamic, totally vented design. The look of the Matrix is extra akin to helmets utilized in skateboarding, and for city commuter bicyclists. Regardless of its extra solid-looking design, in testing I discovered that it was truly very snug and funky, permitting loads of airflow. The helmet sits a bit excessive on the pinnacle, however has ample exhausting foam padding and undoubtedly looks like a stable piece of protecting gear. Total, the acute high quality of the development and degree of the finishes on the Matrix assist it earn its larger price ticket.

Lumos Matrix 3The Matrix can be snug, and the adjustable sizing straps guarantee a comfortable match meaning the helmet received’t be shifting round in any respect whereas worn. The activation button situated on the chin strap close to your ear is straightforward to seek out and press, with a tactile response mixed with an auditory sign so that you’ll understand it’s on. There’s additionally a built-in magnetic holder for the included two-button handlebar flip sign distant within the rear inside of the helmet itself, which is tremendous helpful when sporting the helmet out on errands.

When it comes to the sensible options, Lumos has created a really smart set of defaults for the on-board lighting that make it straightforward to only activate the helmet and get using. The built-in patterns supply a spread of choices, however all do the job of accelerating your visibility – and the brilliant lighting signifies that it provides to your capacity to be seen by motorists, different cyclists and pedestrians even whilst you’re biking in brilliant daylight.

The customizability of the rear dot matrix show can be tremendous helpful. Even for those who’re not inquisitive about creating colourful designs to specific your creative self, you should utilize it for way more sensible causes – like displaying a easy scrolling message (ie. ‘biking with youngsters’) with a purpose to alert anybody else round to causes to pay heightened consideration.

Lumos Matrix 1The included Lumos handlebar distant is paired out of the field, and is extraordinarily dependable when it comes to activating the flip alerts on the helmet. Lumos’ smartwatch app was way more hit-or-miss for me when it comes to recognizing my arm gestures reliably to automate the signalling, however that’s actually a value-add function anyway, and completely not essential to get the total advantage of the helmet. The app’s integration with Apple Well being for exercise monitoring whereas biking can be improbable, and actually provides to the general expertise of utilizing the Matrix helmet.

Backside line

The Lumos Matrix is a improbable bike helmet, with an incredible built-in sensible lighting system that’s each brilliant and extremely customizable. There’s a motive this factor is carried at Apple Shops – it’s high-quality when it comes to development, software program integration and design. That mentioned, its retail worth begins at $249.95 – which is loads when you think about {that a} good high quality MIPS helmet with out sensible options will solely set you again about $60 or so.

When you think about simply how a lot know-how is onboard the Matrix, nonetheless, the pricing turns into loads simpler to swallow. It’s true that devoted lights additionally aren’t costly, however the ones on the Matrix are very top quality and intensely seen in all lighting circumstances. And the Matrix presents distinctive options you received’t discover anyplace else, together with lively flip alerts and automatic brake lights, which actually add to your capacity to soundly share the street with different cyclists and automobiles.

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Darrell Etherington