Swedish brand POC has traditionally been known for their outside-the-box thinking and ability to implant tech into places one wouldn’t normally expect. Queue POC’s new Ventral Air NFC SPIN helmet and Aspire Solar Switch sunglasses. In two examples of decidedly low-tech items—helmets and sunglasses—POC has gotten super creative with ways to modernize these pieces of gear.
The Ventral Air NFC SPIN is a super lightweight helmet with a built-in Near Field Communication (NFC) chip that can be user-programmed with almost any smartphone to embed the rider’s medical information. In the case of a situation where the rider is unable to communicate with emergency responders, appropriately equipped medics can access the helmet’s information.
POC’s Aspire Solar Switch sunglasses use built-in light sensors (no battery required!) to instantly lighten or darken the lenses tint. Think of transitions lenses with a turbo boost. As both tech integrations are pretty cutting edge, both could have a few flaws, so we’ve unboxed both items and will be reviewing them soon.
Check out our video below for the full unboxing, or scroll down for some quick takeaways.
POC Ventral Air NFC SPIN Helmet: $275, POCsports.com
POC Aspire Solar Switch: $400, POCsports.com
What I Like About The Ventral Air NFC SPIN and Aspire Solar Switch
- The helmet is crazy lightweight and ventilated, so you’ve already got a tried-and-true design that’s great even without the NFC chip. The fact that this helmet can “speak for you when you can’t” is a big bonus.
- These sunglasses boast great coverage and very cool style. The quick switch from dark to light is ideal for changing conditions, even from second to second.
What Makes Me Worried With The Ventral Air NFC SPIN and Aspire Solar Switch
- I worry a little bit about the fact that anyone with an NFC reader (this is pretty much all smartphones made in the last few years) could access the helmet’s information. It’s easy to make sure you reveal just enough info, but it bears some caution while leaving your helmet lying around at events or public places.
- Being able to transition from light to dark instantaneously might have some weird side effects and take some getting used to.
- As this is uncharted territory for both types of tech, buyer beware that bugs could arise.
- Even if you don’t use the chip in the helmet, you still have a great helmet, just be sure you exercise caution in choosing what to reveal in the NFC chip.
- The Aspire Solar Switches are so unusual that they’ll require quite a bit of testing in different conditions and situations, but regardless they are REALLY COOL to show people, as the effect is very noticeable.