Gear up for thought-triggered technology
This article first appeared on October 6th, 2011.
Scientists have unveiled a bicycle with gears that you can change simply by using your mind.
The Toyota Prius Project Parlee PXP bike has a thought-controlled gearbox that works by responding to cues from the brain. Experts believe anyone will be able to master the technique.
The rider wears a specially designed “neuron helmet”, which transfers brainwaves using wireless technology.
The helmet was built by human/digital interface specialist Deeplocal. It uses electrodes to pick up neuro-electrical activity to send signals to an electronic gear shifter mounted under the bike’s seat.
Deeplocal creative engineer Patrick Miller says the system was built using a simple, off-the-shelf reader and software to read the signals.
“It takes the rider a little bit of training but we’re at the stage where people are successfully changing gears with their mind while riding,” he says.
“'It’s an experiment at the moment, but once you have control you can do a lot of things like change gear during a journey based on things like speed and distance.”
As thought-triggered devices gain momentum, perhaps there are opportunities for start-ups to delve into this technology.