LED-infused LunaHelm puts the interactivity back in, um, helmets


Remember simple bike safety? Stop, drop and roll Wear a helmet, signal to cars if you are making a turn and try not to be a dick. It’s not a lot to remember but it can be tough to implement given that the real world doesn’t always resemble an imaginary scenario. Put simply, when it hits the fan it hits the fan fast. You don’t always have time to stick your hands out or, if your girlfriend threw all of your possessions on the sidewalk, to grab your beloved biking helmet. A Dutch researchers aims to fix all of that with his new LunaHelm. Well, not the ex-girlfriend thing. You are on your own there.

RMIT researcher and Dutch designer Wouter Walmink built the LunaHelm with one simple goal, to make bike riding safer. He, of course, ended up going a bit further but more on that in a second. As far as safety goes, you throw the helmet on your head and let the built-in LEDs do the rest. They’ll let nearby motorists know if you are about to turn, stop or even pop a righteous-ass wheelie(kidding.) The helmet is outfitted with 104 LEDs, an Arduino Uno microcontroller and a motion sensor. They make the magic happen.

Safety is cool but here’s where it gets interesting. Walmink designed  the LunaHelm to be more than just a bright helmet. Programming for the helmet is open source and its built from the ground up to mix well with third party applications. Some cool stuff on the horizon? Vitals monitors, user-created design and really whatever else the public can dream up. This is, sadly, only a concept design for now but don’t let that stop you from wearing those prehistoric helmets when you are out biking. They still protect your noggin, after all.

Here are a bunch of videos of the LunarHelm in action.