Do You Own a Motorcycle Airbag if You Have to Pay Extra to Inflate It?

by EditorDavid from “Pardon me while I feed the meter on my critical safety device,” quips a Hackaday article: If you ride a motorcycle, you may have noticed that the cost of airbag vests has dropped. In one case, something very different is going on here. As reported by Motherboard, you can pick up a KLIM Ai-1 for $400 but the airbag built into it will not function until unlocked with an additional purchase, and a big one at that. So do you really own the vest for $400…? The Klim airbag vest has two components that make it work. The vest itself is from Klim and costs $400 and arrives along with the airbag unit. But if you want it to actually detect an accident and inflate, you need load up a smartphone app and activate a small black box made by a different company: In&Motion. That requires your choice of another $400 payment or you can subscribe at $12 a month or $120 a year. If you fail to renew, the vest is essentially worthless. Hackaday notes it raises the question of what it means to own a piece of technology. “Do you own your cable modem or cell phone if you aren’t allowed to open it up? Do you own a piece of software that wants to call home periodically and won’t let you stop it?” This Motorcycle Airbag Vest Will Stop Working If You Miss a Payment by Aaron Gordon from Airbag vests are pretty much exactly what they sound like, garments worn by people who undertake exceedingly dangerous personal hobbies in order to slightly reduce the risk of severe bodily harm or death. For example, in 2018 the motorcycle racing circuit MotoGP made airbag vests mandatory. Since then airbag vests have become steadily […]

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