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Adafruit's Smart Helmet Helps Navigate to NYC's Citi Bike Stations 37

coop0030 writes "Add GPS, compass navigation & visibility with LEDs to a helmet that helps you find your way to the closest Citi Bike station in New York City. It's powered by Adafruit's FLORA, a wearable electronics platform. With a detailed tutorial, you can build the helmet, and customize it to work in most cities with a bike share as well."
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Adafruit's Smart Helmet Helps Navigate to NYC's Citi Bike Stations

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  • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @02:46PM (#44063349) Homepage Journal

    Another creation of the All powerful bike lobby []. Helmets are just a particularly sturdy stepping stone on the way towards totalitarianism.

  • by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @02:56PM (#44063491)
    Why not take the money you would have spent on the helmet and just buy your own bike? I'm in WI and I could easily fit a full sized mountain bike in my 400 sq ft studio apartment...or the bike rack downstairs or my parking spot lol. I don't get this bike sharing thing. A cheap but okay bike is like $150. Why rent when you can just buy one? And why buy an expensive helmet that tells you where to rent bikes?
    • by unimacs ( 597299 ) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @03:04PM (#44063605)
      I don't live in NYC but we do have a bike share system in Minneapolis. I ride my own bike every day to work and felt much the same way as you did but I've since realized there are some significant advantages to using a bike share system.

      The biggest for me is that I can get around town without having to lock up my own bike somewhere and risk getting it stolen or damaged.

      Another is cost. An annual subscription to the bike share system is $60 or so but if you're savvy you can get them for $45 or less. My subscription this year cost me $20. That's far less than what an annual bike tuneup would cost IF you don't need any parts.

      Then there is the space saving thing you alluded to. Though you may be fine with a bike taking up space on a wall in your apartment, not everyone is. Depending on what floor you live on, getting the bike into your apartment may not be at all convenient even if you have the space. And while yes, you could lock it up outside, again it is at greater risk of getting stolen or damaged.
      • For me, it's kind of the convenience factor. Maybe I want to ride a bike to work but take the subway home. Maybe I'm at work and a coworker wants to grab a taxi and go out to dinner/drinking later. Being able to just rent and drop off a bike has some serious appeal to me. If I lived in NYC, I would be all over that. It beats the hell out of the mass transit system, and has some real potential.
    • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @03:11PM (#44063703) Homepage Journal

      the point is that you can bike one direction and take a bus back.

      • Most of the city buses around here have bike racks on the front of the bus for just this purpose. It lets you go across town, and then lets you ride to and from some other destination. I've seen policies for this on light rail as well.

        • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

          Most of the city buses around here have bike racks on the front of the bus for just this purpose. It lets you go across town, and then lets you ride to and from some other destination. I've seen policies for this on light rail as well.

          sure, but you ever seen a drunk guy try to lift a bike into a bus..

        • by unimacs ( 597299 )
          Which is fine if the two slots for bikes aren't already taken and if you don't forget to grab your bike off the front of the bus when you get off. ;)

          And of course in between the time of riding some where and getting on the bus you have keep your bike someplace. With the bike share system, that's a non issue. You slide it into a stall at the station and then you're done with it.
    • for $150 you can get a bicycle mockup. "cheap but okay" starts at 5 times as much.

      • Maybe in NYC, lol. I got a brand new mountain bike for $160 and it lasted 9 years with zero tune ups. At the last police evidence auction, nice bikes were going for $35 and they were only stolen once, lol. At the pawn shop and local thrift shops, they hover around $50.
        • I never was in NYC. Matter of fact, never was in the USA, "lol".
          Just stating facts. $160 gets you a good enough frame. Or an okay set of wheels. Or a really decent set of brakes. Or a usable rigid fork. If you are lucky, a decent suspension fork if you are willing to buy used and service it yourself.

          You will not get a brand new mountain bike for $160 anywhere. Not even a stolen one, for the reasons mentioned above. In fact, if you try to use such a bike mockup as a mountain bike, even on a cross country tra

      • Only for bike snobs like you. Snobs like you are not going to be willing to rent that POS, because it with be a cheep bike, beat to hell and back. The people who might get use a bike share would likely be quite happy with a $150 bike.
    • First off, a "cheap but okay bike" is not $150. I can't stand this (nor can most bike shop employees, who are really, really, REALLY fucking tired of people strolling in and having wildly unrealistic expectations for what a bicycle costs.)

      Bicycles are not toys, and they should not be priced like one. They should be priced compared to the expense of a public transit pass ($60/month in my city for bus+subway), a scooter, or car expenses. How much is a typical monthly car payment?(Answer:$452 []) How much do yo

  • Say it isn't so!?

    What is the deal with bike helmet design anyway? Most of them look like you're supposed to be going 80 miles per hour. Mine doesn't look like that though.'s Urbanize is my helmet. It's nice.

    • Try to cycle 30 kph or faster for a few hours - and no cheating, at least 85 rpm cadence, then you'll learn why proper helmet ventilation is important.

  • by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @02:58PM (#44063519)

    LED stripes look like crap because you can see the individual LEDs. If you want a TRON look, nothing beats EL wire [].

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      yeah but they're easier to control individually(short look at the vid and they're probably those that you can daisy chain and control all individually from one end)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Step 1 wear a ridiculous bike helmet

  • Everything on the required list for the project is now "Out of Stock"!

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.