And in other safety related news, Chaotic Moon has developed a helmet that has the capability of recording video of your surroundings after you get hit. Sure, it’s not the same as avoiding being hit, but in the event that you do get hit, this is something that could come in handy. There are a lot of drivers (not all!) that leave the scene after hitting a cyclist and this helmet would attempt to record video to help recreate the scene of the crime.
Yes, there are problems with the system. This first iteration of this unique device only starts recording once the cyclist has been hit. This may very well be too late to record any important video of the accident. The best case would be that the cars license plate gets recorded and the driver can then be questioned to see what their side of the story is. Keep in mind that not all accidents are caused by the driver of the car. Statistics show that the fault is split 50/50. From The Oregonian’s blog, Oregon Live:
“Since 1994, there have been about 1,920 reported crashes involving motorists and bicyclists. Portland police determined that 53 percent were caused by the motorist and 47 percent by the bike rider.”
The current camera system in the helmet is capable of recording 30 frames per second in 720p resolution. Future plans intend on upgrading this to a higher quality setup so that the video can be seen better. This is not a bad quality to begin with and is definitely sufficient to get a good picture of what happened after the initial impact. There are seven cameras mounted within the helmet’s air vents. This is another point of contention with the design. Many cyclists (including myself) would prefer to keep those vents open and free to help cool your noggin during a ride. Clogging those vents with a camera that you may not need in your life seems like a waste. Add on the $300 price tag and you really start to question why this would be built.
Keep in mind, however, that this is a break through product. GoPro has cameras that can be mounted to yourself, your helmet or your bike, but that is just a single camera pointed in one direction. Chaotic Moon’s system would have nearly every aspect covered. There is a bigger picture here that is being covered by this helmet. It is bringing awareness to the industry that this is a potential product market. There is a problem that can be addressed with a fairly inexpensive product. I imagine that any urban commuter that rides in a lot of traffic considering the purchase of a GoPro Hero ($200-$400) would consider the purchase of this helmet.
Check out the video below to see the helmet in action and to get a bit of insight into why it was developed: