The future is now, and part of a rebel’s restless spirit is being always at the ready for new things. Like embracing “smart gear” — one of life’s modern conveniences, connecting your everyday devices to a wireless network so that they can serve you better. (A smart moto helmet? Yes, please.)
Here are five essential pieces of smart gear that every rebel needs, for home, work, or play.
Vehicle head-up display Called “HUD” for short, this device is for the driver who wants to instantly know everything going on while behind the wheel, including time, speed, incoming calls, messages, and GPS data. The info projects onto the windshield — very fighter pilot (in fact, HUDs originated on fighter jets). It’s a one-stop that allows you to see everything in a nutshell while keeping your eyes on the road.
Smart motorcycle helmets Smart helmets come with high-tech perks that do more than protect your skull. They’re rigged with Bluetooth, so you can talk to your posse or share tunes while riding. With smart helmets, you can ask for a weather report or tell the audio system to hush the sound of the road. Some also come with built-in cameras, so you don’t have to drive around with a device strapped to your head.
French startup Tali is on the forefront of the smart helmet genre. Its version features signal and brake lights built into the helmet, and an alert system that can call emergency responders if it detects a fall. Look for it to start shipping in late spring.
Spot mapping This new rescue tool is a potential lifesaver, if you like getting out in the wilderness but don’t want to risk getting lost. Friends and family can trace your heroic path in real time, anywhere in the world, and trade messages with you when the occasion arises. It also keeps a history of your trips, for your nostalgic reverie over a glass of bourbon — or should you decide to return for another pass.
Smart light bulbs Light bulbs have gotten a lot more intelligent since the early days of the dimmer switch. Smart bulbs can be turned on remotely or activated via a timer — saving energy and making your pad looked lived-in while you’re off on that bike trip with your buddies. These bulbs are also motion-activated, meaning they can turn on and off when you enter a room. And, for those Rebel Yell party nights, you can even change their color and brightness to sync with music or create a mood.
Smart garage door Garage doors don’t exactly scream “high IQ,” but smart versions — like these from Chamberlain and Meross — allow you to operate your door remotely and keep an eye on your wheels. Via an app on your smartphone, you can open and close the door from anywhere, whether that’s you coming in for a landing, or opening the door for package deliveries.
It also serves as a security system; if the door is opened for any reason, you get an alert.