Toyota Funds Bike That Reads Minds
It's hard not to be a little sceptical of another concept bicycle that adds gee-whiz features that will cost a lot and do little to entice normal people to ride their bikes for transportation. So the Prius X Parlee bicycle (PXP) is hard to like at first glance - it's a sleek (i.e. designed for technie types) carbon bike (i.e. expensive) that requires you to wear a sleek, very sporty helmet in order for the cycle to read your brainwaves and learn to automatically shift gears for you.
But then again, Toyota funded the prototype to be a bike version of a Prius, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Perhaps they are onto something.
"This was purely a prototype concept," Patrick Miller of Deeplocal (designer of the digital portion of the prototype) told the CSM. And, he said: "in general, neurocontrol things will become more commonplace in the tech world."
Now Parlee, the bike's manufacturer, said it will take what it has learned during the prototype project to build a road bike, scheduled to be available at latest in 2013.
Though a bike doesn't need new technology to make it practical, there is one great advantage to mind-shfiting, and that is the rider need not remove her hands from the handlebars to switch gears. Too bad you have to wear a geeky helmet (at this point) to operate the system.