Bike Helmet Designed By People Who Don’t Ride Bikes

Written by Boston Biker on Oct 06

This thing is only a concept, which if I am understanding design correctly means it really has very little to do with the final product (or reality), but still it won an award…presumably the people giving out that award rarely ride bikes.

There is a lot wrong here.

Lets start with the small things and work are way up.

The helmet has no ventilation, going to be hot on most rides…especially with the visor down. Some people don’t mind that style though so lets move on.

How heavy are all the cameras and computers and display and sensors? I am going to guess heavier than foam and a thin plastic shell. Do you really want an extra pound or two on your neck for long rides? Will it fly off my head due to the extra weight during a violent fall?

How will it perform in the rain? In the snow? My cell phone doesn’t like getting cold or wet and its “water proof” Will that screen actually display anything in the sun? What if its night time and someone shines headlights in my eyes?

What happens to all that fancy stuff when you actually smash your head into something? Do the electronics and display become tiny projectiles? Is the absorbent quality of the helmet affected by having all that crap attached to it? Will I be bathed in optics and display parts all over my eyes?

Judging from the video it presents data in such a way to be far more distracting than traffic itself. Giant blue dots to let me know I am moving in the right direction? Sounds? Text in the middle of my view? How exactly do you select those different options, are we going to toss eye tracking into this thing as well? Or do I have to reach up and tap my helmet to select options while riding? Voice activation?

Why a rear facing camera? It’s actually a good thing to turn your head around and look behind you once in a while, its lets you see what you are dealing with and is a visual cue to other road users that you might be about to turn. PS. a tiny mirror does the same thing and is a lot cheaper.

What are those impact detectors on the side supposed to do? Anyone who has ever been passed by a car too close knows when something is near them, I don’t need expensive sensors to tell me that. Also the way Boston streets are designed I imagine they would be screaming constantly as most of the time you are riding in very cramped conditions. Thirdly, what exactly am I to do when the cars get too close? I can’t always move away from them. Its not like I am backing my minivan into the garage and need to know when I am too close to the wall, the cars are much bigger and heavier than me, when they get too close I am mostly at their mercy if they choose to move away from me or not.

How big are the batteries in this thing? How heavy are they going to be? With all this fancy stuff strapped to my head I imagine I couldn’t ride for more than an hour or two without having to swap them out or recharge them.

What is the carbon footprint on something like this? Am I going to have to worry about e-waste from my helmet now? Will it be full of brominated fire retardants, lithium ion batteries (which can catch fire if punctured), rare earth minerals? Will it be made with sweat shop labor in china? I am riding my bike to try to decrease the amount of emission and suffering in the world, not increase it.

How much is this going to cost? Helmets don’t last forever, even if you don’t crash you should still replace them every few years just because the foam degrades. Are the electronics removable? Is the helmet in pieces so you can only replace what you need? A cell phone or VR helmet with this much tech goes for $500-$600, am I supposed to drop half a grand every time I drop my helmet on the ground, or get hit by a car, or every three years?

This design is a failure.


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