Smart Bike Helmet Is Wireless

If you ride a bike, you probably share the road with a lot of cars. Unfortunately, they don’t always share the road very well with you. [Mech Tools] took a helmet, a few Arduinos, and some wireless transceivers and made headgear that shows when you stop and also shows turn signals. We were a little surprised, though, that the bike in question looks like a motorcycle. In most countries, motorcycle helmets meet strict safety standards and modifying them is probably not a good idea. However, it wasn’t exactly clear how the extra gear attached to the helmet, so it is hard to say if the project is very practical or not.

In particular, it looks as though the first version had the electronics just stuck to the outside of the helmet. The final one had things mounted internally and almost certainly had cuts or holes made for the lights. We aren’t sure which of those would be more likely to be a problem in the case of an accident.

However, as a concept, we liked the idea. It made us wonder if you could do the same thing to something a little less critical like a motorcycle jacket. After all, we’ve seen a lot of wearable gear lately.

We’ve seen similar projects before. Of course, it is probably safer and easier to add lights to the bike itself.



16 thoughts on “Smart Bike Helmet Is Wireless

  1. If only there were some way to attach these to the bike itself. Might not need to compromise critical safety gear. Heck, might not even need to be wireless or involve microcontrollers.

    1. Why would you add extra signal, and brake lights on the motorcycle? The whole of the project was to augment those signal lights by adding those lights on the helmet (or backpack) and it is very necessary to have it wireless to eliminate the chances of wires snagging on to something during driving.

    1. That’s pretty good.

      My head swivels around a lot when I’m biking — I can imagine tons of false positives on the brake light.

      I wonder why they went with accelerometer for the braking even though they had a button on the handlebars for turning. Seems like you could toss a hall-effect sensor and a magnet on the brake lever and you’d be set there too.

      Hmmm…I’ve been looking for an excuse for a BTLE project…

      1. It’s not quite what you think; on the Lumos the brake detection is indeed acceleration, but the sensor is on the controller, not the helmet. Source: I own one and took it apart to see what makes it tick.
        It’s a pretty decent product, but I wish it was easier to integrate with other devices on my bike. For example, I can’t charge either the remote or helmet while in use, which dramatically limits their utility on a bike with its own generator.

  2. > had cuts or holes made for the lights

    … so the helmet is basically “broken” then. If we are talking about a bicycle helmet as opposed to a motor-“bike” (those machines are called “bikes” in some countries, just like their riders are called “bikers” – Americans – get used to English not being ruled by your usage alone :-P ).

    I really like the idea of giving additional (optical) information from a BICYCLE to the surrounding traffic, especially since lorry drivers often want to kill me when I use the road with my (electric) bicycle (which I have to, by law in our country). But modifying the one most important saftey device you wear does NOT sound like the best approach.
    Yet, kudos for bringing up the idea and showing that there is something to discuss.

    1. I certainly wouldn’t suggest modifying safety gear. It might well be illegal to use afterwards as well. However small holes in the structure is only going to matter if you do it badly. There is no reason to worry if the holes are really small and few. Get the light cluster right and the few holes you put in the helmet won’t matter at all as the light cluster adds more strength than the holes take.

      I’d be more worried that as you skid along after an accident the light cluster might snag on something. The wrench that could put on your neck would be horrific.
      I too know the pain of being a cyclist when enough of the other road users to feel like every damn one are actively trying to knock you off.. The extra visibility sounds like a very solid idea.

      1. Yep Illegal in Australia for a push bike and super illegal for a motorcycle. Helmet shells and internal padding are delicate items. Even the adhesive from a poorly chosen sticker can reduce shell integrity and risk your life or get you a fine. Riding with this on the road should get jail time. Even the height of break light is illegal. I haven’t seen this much stupid in a long time.

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