Editor's note: Karyn Lu is Turner Broadcasting's manager of New Media Insights & Inspiration. Each week, she scouts out amazing innovations, cutting-edge technology and, well, just really awesome stuff. Before it goes mainstream, it's going to be one of her _ 5 Things From The Future! _
I'm a pretty avid cyclist, as are many of my friends. Commuting or simply cruising around in the city can be a whole lot of fun, but it can also be an intimidating and harrowing experience at times. What if something as essential and functional as your bike helmet can play a role in helping to make bicycling a more pleasant experience for everyone involved?
Enter the MindRider helmet. True to the trend of everything around us becoming "smarter," the MindRider actually allows cyclists to visualize and map how their thought patterns and stress levels change over the course of a ride.
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The idea was born when Arlene Ducao, a small business owner in Brooklyn and recent MIT Media Lab graduate, added EEG (electroencephalograph) technology to her own bike helmet that triggers LEDs to change colors depending on how stressed she is. For example, if her helmet is lighting up green, Ducao is calm and focused. Yellow indicates slight agitation, red means stress, and blinking red = panic. Since helmets and lights are essentials for cyclists, the combination makes a lot of sense, allowing the cyclist to communicate her mood to everyone else on the road.
Next up, Ducao's team is working to make this data social and community-oriented, by developing “Experience Maps” of cyclists’ geo-located brain activity: "These maps can reveal previously unobserved relationships between the cyclist and the environment, and they have all kinds of applications for personal fitness, urban planning, safety analysis, and more."
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MindRider is a project currently in development. Of course, I've already signed up for one.
I'll end with some funny food for thought: in the near future, will everyone on the road be openly broadcasting their moods to one another? The idea of doing so seems to be catching traction.
Check out a very similar idea for car drivers called Motor Mood, a sort of status bar for your car. Am I optimistic to hope that this trend will reduce road rage and help us be nicer to one another on the roads?
Share your thoughts in the comments after talking a look at the rest of this week's amazing Things From the Future!
• Virtual reality gaming has grown up. A lot. And it's spectacular. (Also see video below)
• So here's a four-story vending machinewhich does much more than just pump out Doritos.
• If you gotta 'go,' might as well help some plants grow.
• Study of children's drawings show a shift in how they think about gender roles.