Cycling can be dangerous. Last November six people were killed while riding on the streets in London. Big cities like New York and Sydney can also be hazardous for pedalers, and sometimes just a regular helmet won’t do.
Enter the rather perplexing Smart Hat, a product so elaborate Gizmodo even questioned its authenticity. But it appears to be a real concept—with the backing of a local councillor in Australia, in fact.
A Sydney-based website, the Daily Telegraph, reports that creator Toby King presented the helmet to Mosan Council on Nov. 11.
Here are all the crazy things the design includes:
- Multilayer construction with impact-absorbing features and facial protection
- In-helmet Bluetooth display with speaker, satnav, speedometer, speed zones, temperature, heart rate, tilt sensor, ultrasonic object proximity warning, and more
- Remote control indicators
- Automatic brake lights
- Head lights and night lights
- A retractable visor, with a wiper system
- Integrated digital camera
- Smartphone storage
- E-tag storage
- ID sign-in
- Customisable outer skin
- In-helmet cooling fan
- Comfort additions
Yes, it’s a staggering list. And it looks as futuristic as it sounds:
King explains he has the “skills to fully develop” the product and although it’s not commercially available “yet,” he’s now looking for funding.
While the least technological, the most important aspect of the Smart Hat is its registration plates. The state government of New South Wales is now considering licencing options for cyclists—a very controversial idea.
King says the Smart Hat would cost about $200, or about 100 pounds in the U.K. It’s worth checking up on, because if it is approved and funded in Australia, maybe it’ll one day turn up on British roads?
Could all this really be on so many people’s heads?