If you ride a motorcycle, you may have noticed that the price of airbag vests has dropped. In one case, something completely different happens here. As reported by Motherboard, you can get a KLIM Ai-1 for $ 400, but the built-in airbag will not work until it is unlocked with an additional purchase and a large one. So, do you really own a $ 400 vest?
Given the nature of electronics and the computer business lately, we spend a lot of time thinking about what it means to own a technology. Do you own your cable modem or mobile phone if you are not allowed to open it? Do you have software that wants to call home periodically and doesn’t allow you to stop it? Sometimes it makes sense that you pay for a service. But there are times when, for example a company for speakers essentially brick devices that could work well on their own although you – in theory – own the device.
Nice airbag you got there; Be ashamed if it doesn’t disappear
The Klim airbag vest has two components that make it work. The vest itself is from Klim and costs $ 400 and comes with the airbag unit. But if you want it to actually detect an accident and inflate, you need to load a smartphone app and activate a small black box made by another company: In & Motion. This requires you to choose another $ 400 payment or you can subscribe to $ 12 per month or $ 120 per year. If you fail to renew, the vest essentially costs nothing.
To say this with regard to electronics, it is one thing to realize that your oscilloscope no longer decodes the I2C protocol because accounting has confused the payment of the bill. Another thing is to suffer life-changing or end-of-life injuries due to an accident. Of course, you get a 30-day grace period to correct payment problems, but still.
Excuse me while I power the meter on my critical safety device
I can’t really decide how I feel about this. The capitalist in me knows you have to win. However, this looks like placing coin-operated oxygen on a commercial aircraft. Especially since the vest can obviously work well without external support, as long as you pay the extra $ 400. Honestly, the light indicators, which must be checked before each trip, will warn you if the vest is locked for non-payment (or any other problem), so there is little chance of driving with it, thinking that you have protection that you do not you are T.
So maybe this is defensible, but you have to wonder where this trend will take us. Will we see cars that require a subscription to use advanced safety features in the way that car companies already sell some non-critical software features?
What do you think? Do you have a vest that needs a subscription? Some things can’t work without backend support (such as your cell phone or cable modem). Is it safer to cut these? However, many areas require all cell phones to be able to call emergency services (such as the 911 in the United States), regardless of the status of the associated account. This is a key safety feature of the phone and all that is required is to have the device, not the subscription.