MindRider has come a long way since we first reported on the smart helmet that reads your brainwaves and offers extra bike safety by mapping a bike route where you can see the most stressful traffic conditions.The design has gone through several revisions, the new version has stylish bumps inspired by the branching neurons and shape of the brain itself. The helmet still has the built in EEG sensor made by NeuroSky but doesn’t feature LED indicators anymore, that originally translated EEG feedback into flashing colors, depending on the cyclist’s stress level.
On the other hand, the idea of providing crowd-sourced information on routes which might be more relaxing for cyclists, and routes to avoid because of the increased stress level, seems to be catching on.
The team, consisting of eight cyclists, rode north-south routes over east-west cross streets of Manhattan last year. The EEG sensors measured the riders’ level of focus. Attention rose when the rider focused on something and decreased when less focused. Level of attention was ranked from 0 to 100, then correlated onto a color scale, from green to yellow to red. Roads were covered once, by one rider, and there was no control for factors like unusual traffic congestion, weather, or the rider’s emotions and natural level of attention, which all could have skewed results.
With this unique data, the cyclists were able to create a map of Manhattan (see below) that shows relaxing cycling routes highlighted in green and more stressful ones in red.