What is ANGi?
ANGi is a helmet-mounted sensor that notifies selected contacts when it detects that you are involved in a crash. ANGi also allows your contacts to monitor your progress through live tracking during a ride.
The ANGi sensor uses an accelerometer and gyroscope to detect movement and forces. These sensors can measure impacts to the head in a crash and even harmful rotational forces that might not involve a direct knock to the helmet.
The device pairs with Specialized's Ride App on your Android or iOS smartphone via Bluetooth to warn your contacts should it detect that you have been involved in a dangerous crash.
The ANGi acronym stands for Angular and G-Force indicator.
How does ANGi work?
When heading out for a ride, you connect the ANGi sensor to the Ride App on your smartphone and start a ride. If the ANGi sensor detects forces that it associates with a crash, it will notify the Ride App which will start the notification procedure.
The Ride App will first initiate a countdown which you can cancel should you be alright. If you’re in trouble, however, the countdown will expire and the Ride App will send out an alert to your emergency contacts via text message and email. The warning notifies all your contacts about the potential harm and includes the GPS coordinates (using the GPS functionality of your smartphone) of your position.
When starting a ride, you can also opt to let your contacts know that you are heading out. The notification will include a link to a map where they can track your real-time movement.
The rider can also send out a distress signal should they be in an emergency that might not have been detected by ANGi using the Ride App on the smartphone.
What if I am riding in an area without signal?
The Ride App, through which ANGi communicates with the world, requires a data connection to send out any distress calls and tracking information. This means that if you are not within signal these features will not have full functionality.
But ANGi does try to provide a solution in such situations. All you need is a data connection at the start of your ride so that you can input an estimate of your ride time. Should you not complete your ride within the estimated timeframe, ANGi will notify your contacts that you have not returned in time and include your last uploaded location.
The Ride App
The Ride App is a necessary part of the ANGi ecosystem acting as the communications hub for the ANGi sensor on the helmet. The app uses the phone's data connection to send out emergency messages and location information. The Ride App will also record your activity data like ride time, distance, route, etc. It can be linked to Strava so that the ride will automatically appear there too.
A Premium subscription is required to make use of the ANGi sensor. A free 1-year subscription is provided with every ANGi equipped Specialized helmet or aftermarket ANGi sensor. After the 12-months end, an annual subscription costs US$ 29.99. Subscription payments are processed through the Ride App.
ANGi First Ride
We received an S-Works Prevail II with the ANGi sensor for testing. It is fixed to the Mindset retention system just to the left of the adjustment dial. The sensor is attached with adhesive to a mount that is screwed onto the Mindset system. As you might expect, when wearing the helmet, there’s no indication that the ANGi sensor is attached.
The Ride App version that Specialized provided us with was clearly a pre-release version. It lacked certain functionality like recording the ride data but the core ANGi crash detection and warning system worked a treat. Pairing the ANGi sensor to an iPhone through the Ride App was an intuitive process with no communication problems between the two devices. The sensor requires a gentle shake to wake it up before a ride.
Admittedly, we’ve only had a few days with the ANGi equipped Prevail II helmet but in our initial testing, the system worked well. We had no false alarms when out riding. In fact, we had no alarms to report at all, as we did not crash. This meant that we had to resort to some rather unscientific testing back at the office.
Shaking the helmet around, the ANGi sensor ignored our 'normal riding forces' test that we’d expect not to set off the crash alarms. When we ramped up the violence, two of the more vigorous efforts resulted in the Ride App setting off the countdown screen and alarm, followed by sending off notifications of the incidents to our emergency contact. We were satisfied that in the case of both ‘impacts’ having been real crashes, we’d have wanted ANGi to kick into action.
ANGi also takes note of the severity of each impact and reported them to the emergency contact differently. It distinguished the more forceful test as an Impact Event while the milder collision was labelled as a Potential Crash.
During the pre-launch testing, the SMS reporting appeared to not be operational. Instead, we received the warnings via email. From the time the countdown alarm expired, it took around 40 seconds for us to receive the email notification.
Of course, like any system reliant on a smartphone there are obvious potential problems. For example, should the smartphone run out of battery, lose signal, or be destroyed in the crash, the ANGi system would likely fail.
ANGI Technical specifications
Battery life: Six months
Waterproof: IPx7 (30 minutes at 1 meter)
Specialized introduces MIPS SL
In addition to announcing ANGi, Specialized has committed to adding a MIPS option to all its helmets with certain models receiving the exclusive MIPS SL, created in partnership with MIPS researchers.
A brief MIPS refresher. While foam is good at absorbing direct linear impacts, it fails to protect against rotational forces created when a helmet strikes objects at an angle. MIPS is designed to allow movement of the helmet to reduce the twisting forces in these angled collisions.
In most applications of MIPS, the system is applied independently between the foam shell and the padding. MIPS SL is different in that it combines the MIPS technology and the helmet padding into a single piece. This more compact system offers weight savings, a more comfortable fit, and better airflow for cooling and ventilation.
This minimalist application of MIPS is claimed to offer between 10 and 15 millimetres of rotational movement in every direction and the same level of brain protection that other versions of MIPS offer.
The MIPS SL technology will debut on the following Specialized helmets: Ambush, S-Works TT, S-Works Evade II, and S-Works Prevail II.
Our test S-Works Prevail II with ANGi is fitted with the MIPS SL system. We are impressed with how clean the application of MIPS appears compared to other helmets, as it blends in seamlessly with the padding.