I first read about Shockbox through the GetMyFix blog. Go read her article about it, I can’t say it any better.
The coles notes is that it is a sensor on your helmet that can measure the force to your head when you hit the dirt riding. It can accurately tell you if you are at risk of concussion, whiplash etc, and can come in handy when deciding whether your helmet needs to be filed under G (for garbage).
Of course, I couldn’t get 2 paragraphs in without getting very excited about this new product, and jumping right into emailing the supplier with my excited questions to learn whether it is appropriate for competitive distance applications. I always read and talk to people asking about what they can do to make themselves safer on trail. Now remember, this isn’t going to prevent accidents, but it can assist you in taking the right steps to getting the help you need after the accident.
So of course, the first question I had was “will it be set off by tree branches?” I am sure like many of you, I deflect branches with my helmet on the trails. Oh the joys of a big trail horse. The answer was a no, it is programmed to register a minimum amount of force – so unless you get Branched In Face (BIF) hard enough to get a concussion, you won’t get false readings. Also, the unit can be re-adhered to multiple helmets and reused many many times. Its also a low enough profile, and adhered well enough that you won’t lose it from a BIF.
Next was what type of phone can be used with it. This is where it starts getting fun. Unfortunately my new blackberry is the only brand of smartphone that this doesn’t work with, so when I get experimenting with my shockbox, I will be borrowing Lee’s Samsung.
The exciting part was when Kelsey told me that they are working to develop the App to work with your phones GPS.
So the idea is that if you fall and have head trauma, the sensor will trigger and your phone will send your GPS coordinates to your emergency contact. If you trail ride, I don’t need to explain how beneficial this could be. I have never been alone passed out in the forest, but it is something I always fear.
This feature is still in development, so I hope to have more news on this soon! I will leave it at that for now.