Friday Fun: Brighten up the road in the name of bike safety
Biker in city night. Photo by Bridget Coila/Flickr

Visibility is a key concern for bikers looking to stay safe on busy urban streets, particularly at night. Photo by Bridget Coila/Flickr.

It’s no secret that visibility is critical to bike safety, especially under dark nighttime skies. To help ensure that cyclists can be easily spotted by motorists in crowded streets, Wouter Walmink, Alan Chatham and Floyd Mueller of RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia created a contraption that can only be described as part disco ball, part bike helmet.

Interactive helmet from Exertion Games Lab.

This new interactive helmet from Exertion Games Lab combines whimsy and fun, making bikers more visible and safe on city streets. Photo via Exertion Games Lab.

In terms of its shape and function, the helmet is actually quite similar to your traditional bike helmet, but then on turn 104 LED lights, covering the helmet’s entire surface and emitting a soft, friendly glow. The trio of Australian students have dubbed their invention the LumaHelm, and released the following statement on the product’s website:

“LumaHelm turns the helmet into a display through which we can communicate, express and play. We are exploring how this can make cycling safer, skateboarding more expressive, improve communication on construction sites, and affect any other activity requiring a helmet. Through this design and research process we want to find out what wearable technology in the future may look like and how it can be more intimately integrated in our everyday lives.”

The lights are controlled by an”accelerometer”, a motion sensor that warns drivers and pedestrians which direction the rider will take. Moreover, the LumaHelm has a mechanism to read the heart rate of the rider and modify the frequency with which lights shine. Check out the video below to see the LumaHelm in action.

This post was originally published in Portuguese at TheCityFix Brasil.

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