Wearables

Livall BH60 Smart Helmet for cyclists

The Livall BH60 is no ordinary cyclist's helmet.
The Livall BH60 is no ordinary cyclist's helmet.PHOTO: LIVALL

Think 'safe and sound' with this headgear - it has signal lights and Bluetooth stero speakers

The Livall BH60 might look like any ordinary cyclist's helmet, but it is actually a smart helmet.

Just under the front visor, you will find a pad with buttons for power as well as plus and minus. On one side of the button pad is a wind- proof microphone for you to take calls. On the other side is a micro-USB port for charging.

Charge the helmet for around 1.5hr before use. It should last 10hr on a full charge, long enough for most rides. The helmet can take only light, passing rain. So if there is a heavy downpour, run for shelter.

There are Bluetooth stereo speakers built into the helmet sited directly above the ears, so you can stream music from your smartphone while riding.

At the back of the helmet there are two rows of LED lights. The top row consists of eight round lights, while the bottom row is split into three lights on the left and three on the right. They work as signal lights, so you can notify other road users you are turning right or left.

The package includes a remote control called the Bling Jet, and a handle strap so you can mount this remote on the handlebar. The Bling Jet lets you control the left or right signalling via its directional pads. It also has an answer button and a camera shutter-release button.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $198

    CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth

    WEIGHT: 319g


    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 3/5

    PERFORMANCE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 3/5

As you might expect, almost all of these features need to be set up via an app - the Livall Riding mobile app (available on Android and iOS).

But it is not as straightforward as it seems. First, you need to sign up for a Livall account. Only then can you pair the BH60 and the Bling Jet with your smartphone via the app.

Once paired, you can check if the signal lights are working, and if the Bling Jet is responding.

To stream music and for calls, you need to go to the smartphone's Bluetooth settings to pair it with the BH60. It was easy enough to do so, but I was left wondering why users can't get everything done on the app itself.

In any case, the BH60 was able to receive calls and stream music as advertised. But during calls, I was told that I sounded muffled. I wasn't able to hear the other party very well too. Plus, I think it is quite dangerous to speak on the phone while cycling. You probably want to stop and take the call.

During music playback, I was not able to hear much detail, like the bass or nuances of instruments, except for the artist's vocals.

The signal lights are a good touch. But I don't know how many motorists were taking me seriously or having a good laugh when I was signalling my intention to turn. Still, having better road visibility is always good. That said, you can always wave your hand.

• Verdict: The Livall BH60 Smart Helmet has its pluses, like the rear LED signal lights for better road visibility. However, the other features, such as music streaming, seem like gimmicks to me.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2016, with the headline 'Livall BH60 Smart Helmet for cyclists'. Print Edition | Subscribe