New portable speaker turns a helmet into a sound system.
LAS VEGAS--I can tell you from experience that there's nothing quite like riding down a mountain with your own personal soundtrack. I'm sure cyclists feel the same way, particularly when it comes to long-haul biking.
The problem is safety: these activities already involve a fair amount of risk, and that shoots up when you impair your ability to hear what's going on in your surroundings. (In fact, in some places it's illegal to ride with two earphones in.) Luckily, we have this great thing called technology, which allows for innovations such as TuneBug's Shake.
In the strictest sense, the Shake isn't actually a speaker--TuneBug dubs it a "sound generator." Rather than outputting sound itself, the unit turns an entire helmet (be it bike, snowboard, or skateboard) into a speaker by passing vibrations through the surface. It's similar to what we've seen with bone conducting earphones in the past, but rather than sticking the Shake against your head, you mount it to a helmet using one of the included attachment devices.
The Shake features a built-in rechargeable battery rated for five hours, and TuneBug includes a USB cable for charging purposes. It will be available at the end of this month for $119.95.
In addition the the Shake, TuneBug is announcing the Vibe, which is a similar product, but rather than attaching it to a helmet, you set it on any flat surface to generate sound. This unit also offers five hours of playback, but it is available now and costs significantly less at $69.99.
It will be interesting to see how these two unique devices stand up in real-world testing. My experience so far with sound created via vibration has been rather poor. Here's hoping the Shake fares better, in perfect time to ride out the rest of the boarding season.