I saw this student helmet design yesterday on Spare Cycles. The Pulse helmet concept, which features a Bluetooth headset and mp3 capabilities, is a finalist in the Australian Design Award’s student category sponsored by Dyson. It looks nice and I like the idea of integrating lights into a helmet that is aimed at the commuter market, but I have a hard time seeing the music and phone capabilities as safety features. I guess you could argue that people are going to listen to music and chat on a phone while riding anyway, so a system that is handsfree and only in one ear is better than the alternative. I just don’t buy it. Sure, some people talk on the phone or listen to headphones while riding a bike. They know the risks and are welcome to do that. I don’t really have a problem with the practice until it is passed off a safety feature. Riding a bike is a simple activity, but the rider should always be aware of his or her environment, especially in an urban environment where this concept seems geared. Even a minor distraction is dangerous when you are sharing the road with much bigger and faster vehicles (whose drivers may be distracted as well). Of course, maybe I am just too cautious, what do you think?
In addition to this helmet concept, two other bike related products are Dyson award finalists this year. The Viso LED lighting system is a submission that I do really like. Phil has good coverage of all three design concepts over at Spinopsys.