Industrial Design./Nand Logic/Smart Helmet

Nand Logic’s Smart Helmet may just top the list when it comes to the highest number of electronic goodies packed into a single helmet. While it’s intended for activities such as motorbiking, cycling or snowboarding, some people might end up wanting to wear the thing even when they’re just walking down the street – or auditioning to join Daft Punk.

Currently in prototype form, the Smart Helmet’s various electronics are run by an onboard multicore SoC (system on a chip). Also helping out are an integrated accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, Bluetooth module and GPS module, plus temperature and humidity sensors.

Like the Forcite Alpine ski helmet, it features a forward-facing HD video camera for recording first-person footage on an onboard SD card. There’s also a rear-facing camera, the footage from which can be recorded for purposes such as insurance claims – unlike the case with the Reevu helmet, that second camera is not used for a real-time rear view system.

Utilizing an object-tracking algorithm, however, the two cameras can be used to keep an eye on other traffic around the user. If that software determines that a collision is imminent, it will sound an alert via the helmet’s stereo speakers – a visual warning system utilizing LEDs in the user’s peripheral vision is also planned for the finished product. Using the GPS, accelerometer and gyroscope, the helmet is able to ascertain its position within three-dimensional space. This allows it to activate built-in turn signals and a brake light, when the user is turning to either side or slowing down. Additionally, the ambient light sensor determines when it’s getting dark outside, to let the helmet know it’s time to turn on its built-in LED headlights.

When the temperature and humidity sensors notice that things are getting too warm and moist inside the helmet, an onboard fan is automatically turned on to provide ventilation (and yes, it is also possible for the wearer to manually flip up the visor).

Additionally, to keep things from getting too noisy in there, an external mic monitors ambient sounds, and can then use the helmet’s sound system to cancel out distracting audio such as wind or engine noise. At the same time, however, it can detect sounds such as sirens or car horns, and alert the user to them.

Not surprisingly, the Smart Helmet can also communicate with the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth. This allows users to do things like making and receiving calls, receiving turn-by-turn directions, or listening to music (which they really shouldn’t be doing while in traffic).