Ideas Competition: how else might cyclists use brain sensors inside their helmets?

Loved ones, draw near and take note, the next recipient among you who shall be awarded Dr. Behooving’s coveted "Reader of the Week" prize (that launched BikeSnobNYC, and the Cycle-Chic empires), shall be the stand out performer in this here ideas competition, that I am about to announce. The Toyota Prius Project Concept Bike (PXP) has no gear levers or cables. How very old hat, cables now seem. I can’t believe people still sell them. The PXP is very new hat. EEG electrodes in your new hat (or helmet, if you prefer) read your mind, and change the gears for you. 

The bicycling press is largely ignoring this innovation. Had it come from Shimano, they would be crawling all over it. But as a reader of my blog, you are more imaginative. Let me milk that great mind of yours, for ideas.

Tell me in, in dot points, what other applications you can see for mind reading electrodes, specifically, as fitted inside a bike helmet? Perhaps we could tell traffic lights that we want to turn left, or tell doors to open—tell me that kind of thing, only not those two precise things, because that would be cheating.

This really has piqued my interest. The ability to turn on and off lights, around our houses, has never seemed to warrant the attachment of electrodes to our night caps, let alone the surgical insertion of chips into our bodies. But in situations where our hands are tied up—let us say, steering a bike—cyborg powers could make a huge difference, allowing cyclists to engage with physical and virtual environments without losing their balance, or having to stop.

Thank you so much, and good luck! Use the comments button below (though I would have thought that was obvious).  


  1. Steven says:

    so you’re reading it while you’re riding? Far out!

  2. Anonymous says:

    What about braking too, or is that too obvious? Turning on heaters and ovens while riding home, dialling and texting on the phone, turning lights on the bike on? A powered horn on the bike that could be used to warn motorists we are right behind them or they are too close to us? I would hate to think the wrong thing and change a gear when I meant to brake ….

    • Steven says:

      braking wasn’t at all obvious to me. I would have dismissed the idea, waiting until EEGs in helmet were fail-safe. But if we’re talking future cyborg scenarios… okay, on a track bike you speed up and slow down simply by thinking as much, but you sacrifice gears. Enter EEG braking!
      My auto horn makes this sound: “Ooooi #%*@ off you moron!” he he

  3. Anonymous says:

    Mental Green Wave Influencer

    A helmet that parts the automotive seas and alerts the rider to pedestrians on the fly, reserves a spot on the city provided bike rack closest to the desired destination, orders a soy mocha whilst logging a call against the nearest anti-bike lane shockjock and tallying a vote in favour of MPs in support of a velo-manifestation of the Habermasian public sphere.

    • Steven says:

      Re: Mental Green Wave Influencer

      Dear Dollo Dac, you have found you forum to discuss Jurgen Habermas in the context of bicycle transit. Please, let unload upon us. Maybe you have expressed this elsewhere on the web? Maybe you would like a guest spot on BM? You have our attention

  4. Anonymous says:

    Using electrodes to avoid collisions with cars

    Given that more and more cars & trucks feature sophisticated electronics which supposedly help avoid collisions, perhaps the bicycle helmet electrodes can sense danger and ping a warning signal to the oncoming truck which will cause the vehicle to change its course.

    • Steven says:

      Re: Using electrodes to avoid collisions with cars

      hmm, kinda like it, kinda not. The EEGs are picking up brain activity, so would not help the blasé rider who, mentally, hasn’t sensed danger all of his life. Okay, so that leaves anti-collision devices. Would they have a place in cycling? My only reservation here, is that bikes are more like pogo sticks than cars or trucks, ie, responsive like insects. That’s what we like about bikes. They’re non encumbering. I hope I’m making sense, in so few words.

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