Open your ears to danger: Listening device aimed at boosting rider safety

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Sound plays an integral part in how you perceive your surroundings when you are out on the bike, but helmets and earplugs limit the amount of information you can gather. Now that could be about to change.

Tech firm Resonar have developed something called bat 8D auditory technology which does not amplify or modify surrounding sounds, but instead aims to restore your ability to hear them naturally.

The company’s Michel Wehe told MCN: “In our global race towards protective innovation and technological advancement, it seems we forgot about one of the most fundamental of senses.”

Resonar bat 8D in black

The tech is contained in a device that can be retro fitted onto any full or three-quarter face helmet and still limits excessive decibels while restoring awareness of so-called ‘deaf spots’ created by the helmet.

Much like blindspots, Resonar say these deaf spots fall outside the rider’s field of vision but when they are restored they allow the brain to build up a better picture of the surroundings and determine the direction and distance of passing vehicles with greater accuracy.

Additionally the bat 8D device increases a riders ‘proprioception’ – this is the ability of the brain to combine auditory and visual cues to create awareness of the body’s position and direction of travel in relation to other auditory info.

Solutions from nature

Resonar bat 8D fitted to a helmet

Resonar turned to the natural world, replicating aspects of the external part of the ear, known as the pinna, to funnel sounds.

Another feature of the Resonar bat 8D technology is an array of acoustic filters and materials that help control wind turbulence at speeds up to 50mph. It is claimed this allows the rider to focus on specific sounds generated by peripheral threats.

Internally, inspiration from nature continues with a patented set of an acoustic canals and a cone-shaped transducer, resembling the inner ear part of the human auditory system.

Resonar bat 8D unit

Designed to be tough, long-lasting, and waterproof, the Resonar device carries sounds directly through the helmet’s shell in a canal to the ear where it can once again be heard – rather than being muffled or cancelled.

The firm add that it is a battery free, cordless device with each helmet requiring a left and a right bat 8D unit to work correctly. They say it can also be used on the road by cyclists or on the track by motorcycle racers.

Resonar co-founder Felipe Morales, an acoustic engineer, was driven to invent the technology after losing a friend in an avoidable collision in 2014.