Italian helmet maker Caberg just introduced its new Drift Evo II full-face helmet as part of its 2024 collection. It’s ECE 22.06-certified and comes with a load of the features that you’d expect from a modern full-face helmet, but it also comes with one extremely interesting and pretty unique feature (for a moto helmet, at least): An NFC Medical ID embedded in the spoiler.
Caberg collaborated with fellow Italian company FEI (short for “Fast and Ecological Information”) to integrate this functionality into its latest Drift Evo line iteration, the Drift Evo II.
If you use things like Apple Pay, Google Wallet, or Samsung Wallet to pay for things using your smartphone, you probably already have some familiarity with Near-Field Communication (NFC). That’s the same technology that Caberg is using for its new Caberg SOS Medical ID system, which has so far only been announced on the new Drift Evo II lid in the helmet maker’s lineup.
How Does It Work?
Thanks to an NFC chip that's embedded in the helmet and a sticker on the outside of the helmet that tells first responders where to scan, other people can access your selected personal data, medical information, and emergency contact information if needed. Think of it as a 21st century way to make your critical medical data more accessible in the event of an emergency.
Maybe you’re diabetic, or you’re deathly allergic to penicillin, or you have an important medical condition that first responders need to know about if you’re unable to tell them yourself. For decades, riders have been sticking that information on medical ID cards, bracelets, or other devices to make it more accessible to emergency responders. You always hope that you won’t need it, but you also figure that it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Once a first responder arrives on the scene, they can use their smartphone to scan the chip and view your chosen medical information and emergency contacts.
NFC Medical ID Isn’t New, But it Hasn’t Been Used Much In Motorcycle Helmets
If you’re into mountain biking as well as motorcycling, then it’s possible that you’ve already seen some POC Helmets mountain bike options that have NFC Medical ID functionality. Models including the POC Ventral Air Mips NFC use an NFC Medical ID solution from the Swedish tech company Twiceme that works much the same way.
Twiceme calls its system “Help the Helpers Technology,” allowing your co-riders, bystanders, or first responders to be able to access critical information quickly in the event of an emergency. While the company doesn’t make helmets or other safety gear itself, it’s partnered with several gear manufacturers across multiple fields—from bicycling to construction.
Mountain biking enthusiasts can also find Twiceme’s NFC Medical ID chips in use on helmets from Dainese and O’Neal. The company also announced a partnership with Schuberth in October 2023. Although Schuberth is well known in the motorcycle world, the helmets it has announced so far that will come with Twiceme NFC Medical ID tech will be of the industrial safety and fire varieties.
It’s 2023. Why Isn’t This Tech More Common on Motorcycle Helmets?
Gallery: Caberg Drift Evo II Helmet with SOS Medical ID
Plenty of motorcycle jackets come with a special medical information pocket on the sleeve, where riders can stick the emergency information that they think should be known about them. Many are even waterproof, so they’re more likely to be legible if needed. Also, plenty of riders might have a Medical ID feature set up on their smartphone already—and in 2023, most riders are likely to carry smartphones (just like everyone else).
Also, there’s the constant question of knowledge. If first responders don’t know about this quick and easy way to access vital information, then how useful is it in practice? As an example, Arai and other helmet manufacturers have offered emergency release tabs to quickly remove rider cheek pads and get them safely and carefully out of their helmets for years.
Unfortunately, not every emergency responder is going to know that they’re there. The likelihood is probably higher for medical staff who frequently work at racetracks, but elsewhere, it might not be common knowledge.
If anything, NFC Medical ID systems like the one Caberg is now using are one more helpful idea to add to your arsenal. However, having that information easily available in more than one place might be the best idea of all.