You wouldn’t necessarily think that your safety equipment would come with DLC, but that’s what is happening with the $400 Klim Ai-1 motorcycle airbag vest. Buying the vest is only half of the cost, as you then have to pay to unlock the functionality, otherwise, you’ve just bought an expensive fashion accessory.
If you have no clue what we’re talking about yet, neither did I until I started researching this piece. See, airbag vests are exactly what they sound like, they’re vests that inflate in a crash situation, to improve the survivability of motorcycle crashes. They’ve become more popular as the costs come down, even down to $400 in this case.
The thing is, do you really own it if you have to pay a service fee to actually use it? While the vest is $400, the box of electronics that senses a crash and inflates the vest doesn’t do anything until you put a credit card into the app and unlock it, with more cash.
It’s another $400 to not worry about any more charges ever, $120 per year, or $12 per month. If your credit card is declined, or you forget to resubscribe, you’re not protected in the event you crash your motorcycle. How dystopian and disturbing.
It’s not just vehicle accessory makers that are doing this paywalled nonsense, the car companies are at it too, with everything from safety features to navigation being hidden behind extra charges.
At what point should safety be a human right? Will federal law ever catch up to the relentless march of technological ‘progress’? Just think, seatbelts were optional at one point in our history, and now they save thousands of lives every year.
Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.