New bike helmet 'maps' riders' minds during rides

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by Katherine Cook, KGW Staff

NWCN.com

Posted on June 19, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 19 at 9:02 AM

PORTLAND -- Around rush hour in Southwest Portland, you'll see a lot of people on bikes, heir helmet-covered brains racing with thoughts of safety, strategy and sometimes, stress.

Now, imagine if those bike helmets could track all that brain activity, then show people wearing them how they felt, when they felt it and where, along their ride. A group of inventors in Brooklyn, NY is making that possible with something called MindRider.

"It's the first geolocating brain activity helmet," explained inventor, Arlene Ducao.

"You can see the soft sensor inside," said Ducao, pointing to a fabric-covered square, inside the helmet. The sensor uses electroencepholography technology, which doctors have used for years to diagnose conditions like epilepsy.

MindRider works in conjunction with a cell phone app, which maps where a person felt stressed along a bike route, and where he or she felt peaceful. It also tracks how engaging the ride was.

"By ‘mind-mapping’ your community, you can really increase safety and ridership in your town," said Ducao.

Some feel Portland is already ahead of the curve on both points, but are open-minded toward the new technology.

"(MindRider) could tell you where not to go, like if you're getting really stressed-out somewhere," said Phoebe Flanigan, who rides a bike.

"If enough people used these helmets, it could actually increase safety in certain areas for cyclists," added Carl Wallace.

Others are on a different wavelength, entirely, when it comes to the new invention.

"I think it's totally creepy," said Chris Spizale.

To get MindRider to market, Ducao and her team are running a Kickstarter campaign -

Click here for more on the MindRider

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