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A high tech helmet and other student designs

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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.

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  1. Nathan April 11, 2007 at 5:06 pm -  Reply

    Phones and bikes are bad news.
    I ride a bike very fast in very heavy traffic. I almost die/get maimed every day without distractions.
    I can’t fathom why adding a phone to that mix seems like a good idea to someone.

  2. Edu&Nano April 12, 2007 at 5:41 am -  Reply

    Recently in Spain, there has been curious new in the papers that one urban ciclist was fined by the police, because he was riding and talking by his cell phone. Earphones are forbidden too, by the spanish traffic regulations, and I´m agree.

    I´t so dangerous riding with´em, I´ve never ride with them I´d like to heard around me, clever people that rides listening music wear only one earphone, usually the right one.


  3. Sean Roche April 17, 2007 at 2:53 pm -  Reply

    You’d have to be an idiot to ride among multi-ton vehicles with your attention compromised talking on the phone.

    Whoever designed this helmet cares not for bikers.

  4. Zuiko June 21, 2007 at 9:36 pm -  Reply

    Mixed feelings… I’ve seen a number of bikers yakking on cell phones, more and more lately too, staring blankly and riding one-handed and upright. The helmet is clearly a better alternative for people who need (or want) to communicate.

    The mp3 player, on the other hand, is pure narcissism. The escapism of music and biking is a bad combo, whether it’s in a helmet or in a portable player.

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