There’s nothing quite like a traffic jam that helps to increase your stress levels. It probably doesn’t help that traffic jams tend to occur when you want to leave to work and when you’re on the way home to work. That being said, a team has come together to create a helmet for cyclists called the MindRider that will supposedly be able to read your emotions, which in turn will help you map out a bike route either for commuting or for a nice relaxing ride on the weekend.
The team took advantage of the fact that most, if not all, cyclists would be wearing a helmet. This allowed them to embed the sensors into the helmet itself instead of having the rider strap it to their wrist, arms, ankles, and so on.
The helmet itself has a rather unique design, which according to Arlene Ducao who helped design the helmet alongside Ilias Koen, a data visualization expert, “The bumps are inspired by the branching neurons and shape of the brain itself. They are stylistic, but as we move toward a final design, we may use them to help secure the circuit in place.”
The design that they have arrived upon at the moment is based on several revisions. For example one of the designs at the start included an indicator that glowed red/green, depending on the cyclist’s stress levels, so obviously red means the cyclist is stressed, and green means that they’re more relaxed.
In fact the helmet can also be used as a way to crowdsource information, such as routes which might be generally more relaxing, and which routes cyclists should avoid if they want to keep themselves from being stressed. Of course we should note that stress occurs from a variety of events, not necessarily traffic jams, so as to how accurate the MindRider is remains to be seen.
Ducao adds that the team is currently testing out the helmets on a small scale and they are planning on expanding to local neighborhoods, like Brooklyn, eventually. If you’d like to learn more about the MindRider helmet or fund its project, head on over to its Kickstarter page.