When Toyota was developing its Prius hybrid vehicle, they hired a marketing firm, Deeplocal, to help with the campaign. Instead, Deeplocal developed a mind-controlled bike instead. Patrick Miller played a key part in the development of the bicycle, which debuts at the South by Southwest music, film and interactive festival in March in Austin, Texas.
Miller designed a bicycle helmet that reads your brainwaves and transmits them to the bike’s gears. Parlee Cycles, a carbon-fiber racing bike manufacturer, built the frame.
The rider wears a neuro-headset inside the helmet that reads his or her brain waves and detects signals.
“That translates the signals into commands: Shift up or shift down,” said Miller. “That then talks to a microcontroller insider here [pointing to a thick part of the bike’s frame] which I put a big antenna on, so hopefully there won’t be any communication issues. That then talks to the electronic shifting system.”
Miller describes the bike as a “mash up of existing technologies,” saying they did not invent anything new, just put the pieces together. The bike is currently a concept vehicle that was designed to promote the Toyota Prius. There are no current plans to manufacture the bike for commercial sale. Parlee is using the bike frame for one of its models. Keep an eye out for these “smart-bikes” in the future.
Dudek Law Firm, APC—San Diego bicycle accident attorney.