Motorcycling has always had a close relationship with risk. While the potential dangers of riding may be part of the allure for some, many motorcyclists and their loved ones are just as committed to safety, ensuring they get to enjoy the exhilaration of riding for years to come.
Riding apparel and helmets have come a long way towards protecting us but most of our gear is still focused on passive safety, only helping to protect us from impacts and abrasions.
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One new company looking to introduce advanced active safety to motorcyclists is SAPHIBEAT Technologies. Their PhiPAL adventure monitor attaches to your helmet and can detect when the rider has suffered an accident. If the user is unconscious or incapacitated, the device can automatically send out a distress signal with GPS coordinates to get help to you as quickly as possible.
We recently spoke to the co-founder of SAPHIBEAT, Carlo Ciaramelletti, to learn more about the technology behind this device and what it will mean for motorcyclists.
BikeMinds – Carlo, tell us about the inspiration behind the PhiPal.
Carlo Ciaramelletti – Back in 2012, I suffered a serious accident while enjoying an otherwise great day of skiing in Italy. I was off the beaten path and hadn’t told anyone where I would be. It was a frightening incident, but thankfully I was able to make it back to safety. It shook me up knowing that this accident could have very quickly turned into a tragedy if my injuries were more severe. I later learned that another skier suffered a crash in the same area the very next day, and was not as fortunate as I was. That skier ended up dying from his injuries and exposure because nobody knew where he was, or that anything had even happened to him. This was the moment that inspired me to create PhiPAL, a digital platform and activity monitor designed to keep outdoor sports enthusiasts safe during their adventures.
BM – So how exactly does PhiPAL work and what kind of riders would you recommend it to?
CC – PhiPAL is designed to attach to your helmet, so people who do multiple sports can easily switch the device from one helmet to another whether they are riding a motorcycle, bicycle, or enjoying snow sports. PhiPAL uses a sophisticated AI algorithm to continually monitor your body dynamics and detect any abnormal behavior. Using previous history of performance, speed, acceleration and implied forces, PhiPAL determines if an accident has actually occurred and can automatically send for help if the user can’t.
BM – You are currently offering two devices; PhiPAL and the PhiPAL Pro. What is the difference between the two monitors?
CC – PhiPAL works off of your cellular network, so it is the best choice for people who tend to enjoy their activities on grid. This is also a great choice to keep track of your kids when they are riding their bikes to school or around the neighborhood.
PhiPAL Pro takes our device to the next level of saftey by utilizing a satellite connection for people who pursue adventures outside of cell coverage.
BM – So who is alerted if you have an accident and what happens if you are ok after an incident and don’t end up needing help?
CC – You can pre-program your distress call to go to your emergency contacts, enable local authorities, or our emergency call center. We call these contacts your Circles of Safety, and they receive detailed information regarding the exact time and location of your accident to ensure the quickest and most accurate response time to potentially save your life.
The device goes through several stages of alert before sending out a request for help, and has a programmable delay to allow for deactivation. If the user suffers a triggering event but is ok, they can also manually deactivate the request for help. PhiPAL can also be activated manually if the user is suffering a medical event but was not involved in a crash, or to activate on behalf of another rider.
BM – Sounds very interesting Carlo. Sadly, listening to the situations you’re describing, I can’t help but think of the tragic death of off-road racer Kurt Caselli a couple years ago. It’s good to hear that your device could save others in his situation though.
While augmenting safety is undoubtedly the top priority for your device, are there other features provided by PhiPAL that would also be of interest to motorcyclists?
CC – Certainly improving safety and ensuring riders get to enjoy their passion for years to come is our main goal, but our device does provide more than just accident detection.
You can also program PhiPAL to create a breadcrumb trail for others to follow. Of course this can be very useful if you lose track of one of your friends during a group ride and want to quickly locate where they are to ensure everything is ok. It is also extremely useful for family and loved ones. Even if you are off-grid, they can receive periodic updates of your location, so they can relax and enjoy their day knowing you are safe.
We’ve also integrated advanced tracking technology and a 3D model that you can use to evaluate your performance during your ride. This allows you to record info such as acceleration or braking forces, lean angle, or jump height distances for off-road riders.
BM – Very cool. So when will our readers be able to get their hands on this device and how much will it be selling for?
CC – We recently launched our campaign on Kickstarter and are well on our way to reaching our goal of $50,000 to help put our device into production. The retail price for PhiPAL is $149 and the PhiPAL Pro is $299, but we are currently offering significant discounts for early backers of our campaign.
BM – Thanks for taking the time to discuss your product with us Carlo.
CC – My pleasure. We have many motorcyclists on our development team including myself, so this is truly a passion project for us.
To learn more about the PhiPAL and PhiPAL Pro adventure monitors or to pre-order one for yourself, visit their campaign page here.
Suggested vendor: Saphibeat
Dream bigger, go further, and push your limits with the confidence provided by the PhiPAL adventure monitor. It can detect serious accidents and automatically alert friends or first responders for help, even if the user is unconscious. Accidents happen, but with PhiPAL, tragedy doesn't have to.