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High-tech shredding: A sneak peek at snow sports' first smart helmet

Australian company Forcite Helmet Systems have launched a Kickstarter for its smart helmet, Forcite Alpine, geared for snow sports and expected to be shipped out next January.

Forcite Alpine

There have been plenty of developments this year that have been making our homes smarter, but now an innovative Australian company is bringing new tech to the snowfield. On Wednesday, Forcite Helmet Systems launched a Kickstarter, which it hopes will raise $200,000 to help develop and manufacturer a line of "smart helmets" for snow sports.

The Forcite Alpine helmet is designed for extreme sports, but tailored specifically for action on the snowfield. The slick headpiece houses some serious tech, including an ultra-HD 4K camera capable of shooting 120fps slow-motion video, a GPS, and a noise-cancelling microphone that allows you to communicate with up to four other helmet wearers, permitting they're within a 200-metre radius.

It's powered by a 2.4GHz processor and has Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi capabilities, which it uses to send information on top speeds, air time and sharp turns to your smartphone. Additionally, the helmet is built to be modular, meaning it'll be a cheaper repair if a wearer takes a tumble and smashes it, as the expensive parts within won't be damaged.

At just over a day in, the Kickstarter for the Alpine has already reached $50,000 -- a quarter of the money Forcite Helmet Systems hopes to raise by October's end. The smart helmet will ship to buyers in January of next year, retailing for $799 (AU$1130 or £530). Particularly keen skiers and snowboarders can snag one at the cheaper early bird rate by pledging $649 ($920 or £430) to the Kickstarter, though only 250 of these discounted helmets will be sold.

"Forcite Alpine will change the way we share and communicate in action sports forever," company co-founder Alfred Boyadgis said. "Our team have made the lightest, most powerful smart helmet in sports today. One that lets people enjoy the snow, whilst all your high intensity moments are captured and shared in a simple automated way."

Forcite Helmet Systems was founded in 2013 by industrial design postgraduates at Sydney's University of New South Wales, who initially worked together to improve communications systems currently used by Motorcycle Emergency Services.