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Beacon:

Smart Bike

Helmet

Team: Pranav Nair, Ashley Touchton
 

Tools: Arduino CC, Adafruit Neopixels, 9-Dof Sensors, Photoshop, Illustrator ,  iMovie

Design Methods: Hardware Interface Design, Filming, Video editing, Prototyping, , Interaction design, Interface Testing

Contributions: Initial Ideation,  Interaction Design, Prototyping - Arduino, Sensors, Neopixels, Arduino Programming, Video recording, Video editing,

As most Georgia Tech students bike back home after class during evenings, and because Atlanta is not a bike-friendly city, we decided to create a smart  device, that would help bikers in Atlanta express their intent (speed, turn signals, breaking etc.) while ensuring that they maintained control of their vehicle at all times.

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We proceeded to create a storyboard to help us better understand the kind of interactions we wanted to achieve. Our initial idea had our users wearing a jacket which could indicate turn signals through lights on the back of the jacket:

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However, through our storyboard we realised hand gestures would be difficult for our users to achieve at higher speeds. Based on our findings, we decided to design a bike helmet that would indicate the bikers intent and turn signals using simple head motions. This ensured our user had full control of their bike at all times.

 

We proceeded to prototype our smart helmet using the Arduino platform:

Wiring
Wiring

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Programming
Programming

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Prototype evaluation
Prototype evaluation

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Wiring
Wiring

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1/5

For our interactions, we wanted to use novels gestures which would not produce any sort of false positives and hence decided to incorporate a simple head tilt that would enable our user to indicate whether they were turning right or left:

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We used Neopixels by Adafruit to achieve different patterns to communicate different signals. For convenience purposes, we ensured our patterns and turn signals mimicked those of regular car lights (turn left, right, emergency) for people to immediately understand our user's intent:

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Since we did not want to create a generic bike helmet, we also added Party Mode! Using a switch on the front of the helmet, our users can cycle between five dynamic lighting effects. To watch our helmet in action, click on the video above :)

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