Originally developed at MIT, MindRider is a new helmet that shows, in real time, how your rides, movement, and location engage your mind. The MindRider app maps and tracks your engagement, and allows you to share your maps with others. These maps provide quantified insight that empower you to maximize your riding experience, and they are a great resource for riding communities and street advocacy. — mindriderhelmet.com
Unlike many other biometric monitoring devices, the MindRider helmet isn't just about recording your physical activities; it's about harvesting data from normal routines to better inform public policy. The MindRider "reads" electrical activity between the brain's neurons, but the technology isn't invasive enough to determine anything beyond where on the route you're concentrating ("Hotspots") or coasting ("Sweetspots"). For an individual rider, boiling down the data into these two categories simplifies the ride experience, but with enough participants, the service can paint the cycling personality of an entire city, and provide a highly personal way to publicly engage with cycling. Maybe it can even make drivers empathize with stressed out cyclists.
While the actual helmet isn't commercially available quite yet, MindRider recently reached its Kickstarter goal to create "The MindRider Guide to New York City", a map and guidebook to the city's mental cycling infrastructure. Whether that's a pun depends on your own cycling comfort. Depending on response to the guidebook, the developers plan to launch a following Kickstarter to sell the helmet and app to anyone.
MIT isn't the only one experimenting with this kind of connected biometrics. Columbia University has also been using EEG technology to explore pedestrian data, and our recent Aftershock explored ways in which BCIs (brain-computer interfaces) can revolutionize urban planning.