I don't want a helmet that reads my mind, or calls for an ambulance when I've gone down badly. I'd prefer a helmet that tells me if I'm about to crash, and with enough time to potentially avert disaster.
Well, technologically we aren't there yet. So let's go with what we can envision - one design for a mind-reading helmet that shows your emotions in colored LED lights, and another, a helmet add-on that senses impact and relays help signals from your smart phone.Could these save your life?
Arlene Ducao, a designer and maker, came up with the MindRider, a helmet that translates electroencephalogram (EEG) feedback into an embedded LED display.
The MindRider consists of an altered bicycle helmet, a single electrode EEG device — the NeuroSky MindSet — an Arduino, a bluetooth radio, an LED light strip, 3 transistors, and a 9V battery.
When the MindRider flashes green lights, this indicate a focused, active mental cyclist state, while red lights indicate drowsiness, anxiety, and other states not conducive to operating a bike or vehicle. Flashing red lights indicate extreme anxiety (panic).
Ducao says the MindRider will help the many people deciding to bike for transportation, as it can
"support safety by adding visibility and increased awareness to the cyclist/motorist interaction process."
ICEdot, on the other hand, is an add-on for any helmet - not just bike helmets. ICEdot is a sensor that attaches to the back of the helmet. Created by professional chef Biju Thomas, ICEdot senses impact on your helmet, and activates the application portion of the product that's running on your smart phone.
After a preset interval - from seconds to minutes - ICEdot sends your GPS coordinates to emergency contacts via text message.
ICEdot is currently a campaign on Indiegogo with 11 days left and 21% of its goal funded.
Neither MindRider nor ICEdot can exactly avert accidents, but they do indicate that helmets may be set to get a lot smarter.