Friday, September 29, 2006

Smart Helmet designed! Will it be on the shop shelf

David Ponce, at ohgizmo writes about The Smart Helmet, from professor/inventor Ted Selker packs so many useful features, that if it was ever commercialized, it could very well revolutionize anyone'’s cycling experience. And, we a’re not saying this lightly. On the outside, it retains its regular BMX helmet appearance, but Selker has managed to fit a bevvy of electronic components, such as a PIC controller, an accelerometer, a GPS unit, a microphone and speakers, Bluetooth module, etc. What can he do with all this?
He can play music or audio books, with hook-ups for an iPod or tape cassette. It can record speech through built-in microphones, and GPS (Global Positioning System) warns the wearer of hazards on a given route. It also can detect important sounds like a fire siren to mute music when necessary. It has a Motorola cell phone with Bluetooth installed so a bicyclist can talk on the phone, hands-free.
He is constantly adding and modifying the helmet. The newest Smart Helmet, finished this summer, lets the bicyclist shake his head to turn on a microphone, which then records a voice command. For example, if Selker runs into a blind spot at an intersection or a pothole in the road, he can activate the microphone by shaking his head and then say "bad intersection" or "dangerous hole." With GPS technology installed, the helmet will then detect when Selker is traveling near those same spots another day and turn on the recorded audio.

"I live in Boston, where there are typically no street signs," he said. "With the helmet, I can shake my head, and say, 'Massachusetts Avenue,' and create a virtual city." As he travell from home to MIT.

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