Bike helmets of the future will do more than just protect your noggin in a crash. They’ll also check whether you could have a concussion, call for help and act as a black box for accident investigators.
At least that’s what they’ll do if the prototype smart helmet that Intel and Oregon State University are working on ever hits the road.
Oregon State undergrads and Intel interns designed a helmet that uses an embedded gyroscope and two accelerometers to determine if a cyclist might have been in a crash. It also has an embedded magnetometer, speakers, Bluetooth and a microphone for hands-free communication. And there’s a headlamp to help you avoid accidents in the first place.
Intel is known as a chipmaker, but it also dabbles in experimental gadgets. Well before smartphones and tablets ruled the world, the company showed me a laptop with a mini window on the outside cover that let you check e-mail. More recently, they've been working with an M.I.T. spinoff to develop wireless mobile device chargers.
This latest effort could be the most important of all in terms of impact. Or dealing with the same.