Every day, we see more devices designed to read brain patterns, waves, and thoughts. With this technology becoming less expensive, we’re probably going to continue to see an uptick in this trend. Everything from TVs to cars to skateboards is getting the mind-reading treatment, and a team from MIT’s Media Lab has come up with a new mind-reading device: a bike helmet that can monitor your brain waves while you ride, enabling you to see which parts of your route are relaxing and which ones are stressing you out.
Called MindRider, this new helmet maps and tracks your movements, whether on a bicycle, skateboard, rollerblades, or anything else. It then looks at your route and creates a map, showing you exactly where you ran into high stress situations while riding and which parts of your route kept you relaxed. The idea is to look at all these mind maps together and use the data to create better city bike routes and paths. But it can also just give you a better idea of which parts of your route to avoid and help you find the most pleasing and least stressful way to work, school, or the store.
The MindReader helmet has a sensor that’s embedded just inside the helmet, in its foam. This sensor uses electroencephalography (EEG) to measure your brain waves, which are color-coded as red or green. Green means you’re totally calm and cool and red means you’re probably freaking out, at least a little bit. Bluetooth connects the helmet to your phone via an app, which allows you to view your mind map data, which shows your entire route and marks those areas as “Sweet Spots” and “Hot Spots.” You can share your maps with friends, warning them of the hot spots, or you can share with the community, perhaps even with local government officials, informing them of the need for better bike lanes in specific areas of your city.
MindReader is available for just a $70 donation to the Kickstarter campaign.