Swedish action sports innovator POC says its new Omne Eternal is the world’s first self-powered helmet with endless energy, charging with the sun and finally tapping into existing technologies to give cyclists a stylish helmet with an integrated rear safety light. POC is a leading manufacturer of helmets, eyewear, body armor and apparel and has been awarded more than 70 international safety, design, and innovation awards since its founding in 2005.
According to the brand, a sensor in the helmet continuously measures ambient light and will turn on the light automatically in low light conditions, as long as the helmet is being worn. To activate, simply place the helmet on your head and the light will turn on automatically. There is no on/off switch: the light turns on automatically and remains on while the helmet is being worn. It will turn off a few seconds after the helmet is taken off.
There is no USB port, because the different types of light around us constantly charge the helmet to ensure the light is available when it’s needed, providing a first-in-class seamless rider-safety experience. The light is the same intensity at all times (no dimmer), but will turn off if the day gets bright enough. The new self-powered cycling helmet utilizes Powerfoyle, an innovative light-harvesting material, which can convert any light source, indoor or outdoor, into electrical power.
When used outdoors on an average day with mixed clouds, the helmet battery will gain about twice the energy used to power the light. In other words, the energy consumed when biking for one hour to work on a dark morning can be restored by leaving the helmet for one hour in a bright window.
POC CEO, Jonas Sjögren, says, “Safety and innovation are at the very center of POC’s approach. We can all see the very positive shift towards cycling for transport, health and recreation, but with that change comes the well-documented safety worries and risks that cyclists feel when sharing the road. The Omne Eternal may be a world’s first, featuring groundbreaking solar cell technology, but our focus has been to provide riders with enhanced safety and a seamless user experience.”
“Simply placing the helmet on the head will automatically activate the technology, enhancing safety without ever needing to think about it. And it supports our efforts towards a more sustainable environment.”
POC and Exeger, the innovator and manufacturer of Powerfoyle, have been working closely since 2019 to build and test a variety of systems that have resulted in the Omne Eternal, which to most users will look much the same as any other helmet.
Exeger CEO, Giovanni Fili, added, “POC is known for its open-minded and innovative approach to safety and is rightly recognized as the leader in the field. Exeger has over the past decade developed the new generation of fully customizable, durable and sustainable solar cells, creating what others deemed impossible – an innovation with the potential to deliver clean endless energy and to re-define the energy from light. Our long-term partnership with POC is as natural as the light we harvest and we are incredibly excited to be part of the release of the Omne Eternal, which represents a new era of smart helmets to enhance safety for any rider, anywhere in the world.”
The unique characteristics of Powerfoyle, is that it allows for seamless integration without compromising design and aesthetics. Powerfoyle harnesses all types of light energy, converting it to electrical energy in an environmentally friendly way.
Sjögren continued: “Our ‘Whole helmet concept’ illustrates that in today’s world a helmet can, and should, do significantly more than manage impacts. By integrating digital solutions we can protect a user before, during and after an accident. Integrating Powerfoyle opens a world of new opportunities, creating helmets with an endless power source is the key to unlocking new ideas and innovations which have the potential to revolutionize safety.”
When not wearing the helmet, simply store close to a window or in a well-lit room. Powerfoyle is almost always charging and will charge from any light source.
For optimum performance, they recommend that the helmet is exposed to window or outdoor light for at least 1hr per day, and not stored in total darkness for long periods.
The light will turn on even if you are wearing a hood, cycling cap or thin hat underneath the helmet.
The helmet light should only ever be used as a complement to standard cycling lights, not as replacement for them. The Powerfoyle is designed to last longer than the recommended lifespan of the helmet, in normal usage conditions, and POC says cycling helmets should be replaced after 3-5 years of normal use, or any crash with head impact. POC will release versions for all other markets later this year. And, in addition to normal standard certification it also comply with requirements of the European Directives for consumer electronics (2014/30/EU Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC), 2014/35/EU Low voltage (LVD), 2011/65/EU Restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances (RoHS) was proved by the application of the following harmonized Standards:EN55015, IEC62133/UN38.3/, EN62321, RoHS 2011/65/EU , C-Tick AS CISPR15, FCC Part 15 Report SDOC, subpart B).
Powerfoyle is not damaged by sunshine or cold weather but of course can be affected by dirt and snow. Exeger’s Powerfoyle is a revolutionary light-converting material that works much like a plant cell; harvesting light based on the natural principle of photosynthesis. Its unique dye-sensitised monolithic photovoltaic (PV) material converts ambient light into usable electricity and can enhance any consumer electronic product by providing extended or even eternal battery life. This, in turn, can dramatically increase a product’s own lifespan.
The helmet will be available for purchase in size M, in Europe on pocsports.com in June 2021 for €250. It will then be available in all sizes, and globally this Fall.