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This Bike Helmet Is Covered in Solar Cells to Power Built-in Electronics
When’s the last time you wore a helmet while riding your bike? I completely understand. With the level of comfort offered and the only functionality being holding your brains together in case anything happens, it’s about time we’ve seen an upgrade.

This Bike Helmet Is Covered in Solar Cells to Power Built-in Electronics

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We officially have a contender for the most modern bike helmet around. Not just from a safety point of view, but also the technology involved in its function. It’s known as the ESUB Tracks and is produced by Berlin Based WertelOberfell. However, this is not the only product this company designs and manufacturers. They have a decent history in designing products such as furniture, lighting, and industrial products based on research, experience, and understanding their client's needs.

This helmet is no different from any of their other projects. Here too we find a number of techy manufacturing processes, but more so, several functions targeted specifically for the wearer. Aside from being a helmet for cranial safety, it’s completely covered in photovoltaic cells. Why? Because underneath this shell of a helmet lie a number of electronic functions aimed at giving you a safer ride experience.

Before we get into the electronics, allow me to point out that this helmet was conceived to use some of the newest and cleanest materials around. To start, these solar cell strips are manufactured using organic 3D printing methods, while a printed battery is also included in the internal works. The battery utilizing graphite technology as opposed to lithium ion. These printed components are manufacture by CEA Tech of France, an already established leader in printed electronics.

But why are these two systems present in a helmet of all things? Well, one of the components powered by this solar system is a pair of headphones built into the fastening straps. But not just any headphones, these are bone conduction speakers. These are speakers that function by sending sound or vibrations through the bones in your skull that are near your ears, as opposed to inside the ear. This allows a wearer of the helmet to listen to music without affecting their ability to perceive the sounds of the world around them.

The second system that is powered by our sun is a self-adjusting system. Yeah, wait for this one. Once you put on the helmet and fasten the buckle underneath your chin, a motor system is activated at the back of the helmet that tightens around your head to provide a truly custom fit, while operating fully automated.

Also, at the rear of the helmet, where it would normally meet your neck and cranial line, we find a pair of proximity sensors and piezoelectric haptic actuators. When a sensor is triggered due to a car that may be approaching within unsafe limits the haptic actuators are activated and begin to vibrate against the rider's cranium, warning him of the approaching danger.

One other component found at the rear of the helmet is a turn signal. Now, the way it’s activated is quite neat. Underneath the wearer’s chin is a microphone that can process basic commands and activates the turn signal based on the verbal command you have set. Yeah, just tell your helmet which way you want to go, and it will show everyone your intentions.

Personally, as cool as it is and what it can do, the exterior design needs some work. It’s really the only things that is off-putting about the helmet. Other than that, it’s perfect. Even the Bluetooth connection for those funky headphones have a very well-integrated function. But, one thing we don’t know much about, is this helmet’s ability to keep your gray matter intact.


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