OUR fridges can now tell us when we need more milk. Our phones can record a TV show we want to catch tonight. And now our bicycle helmets can act like a car, and tell drivers which way we’re intending* to go.
Technology innovation* company Lumos is re-imagining* the bicycle helmet into a smart bike helmet.
Engineers and Lumos co-founders Eu-Wen Ding and Jeff Chen began Lumos as a fun side project to help reduce the vulnerability* of cyclists on the road.
Realising that drivers are often frustrated with cyclists, as they can appear unpredictable*, the duo developed a helmet that has integrated lights.
A red triangle lights up at the back of the helmet while white lights at the front allow you to be seen by oncoming* traffic.
It also has turning signals activated* from your handlebars. An included wireless remote allows you to switch the turn signals on or off. It has a rechargeable battery and is water resistant.
The idea was a hit on Kickstarter, which is a way inventors ask the public around the world to help them raise enough money to start making something that the public would want to use. Ding and Chen raised more than $1 million to get the helmets made and into public use.
innovation: doing something new
re-imagining: thinking about something in a completely different way
vulnerability: how much someone or something is in danger
unpredictable: hard to guess what’s going to happen
oncoming: coming towards you
activated: make something active
LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY
Activity 1: New helmets show the way!
Read about this fantastic new helmet then complete the following activities.
Eu-Wen Ding and Jeff Chen saw a problem and decided to try and solve it. What was the problem? What was their solution?
Draw a diagram of a person wearing the ‘Smart Bicycle Helmet’ labelling the new features explained in the article.
Write a few sentences explaining how these helmets might help keep cyclists safer.
Extension: In a small group (3 or 4) create a TV advertisement to market this new technology.
Be sure to highlight all the positive aspects of the smart bicycle helmet. What will you call it? How much would you expect them to sell for? Which age group do you think they are suited for? All age groups? Where would you be able to buy them?
Time: allow about 40 minutes to complete this task
Curriculum links: English, The Arts – Drama, Media
Activity 2: Problem solved!
Write a letter to the co-founders, congratulating them on their invention and ask them FOUR questions you have about the helmet and how it works.
Extension: What are some other things we can do to help solve or avoid this problem? Some things are already in place. For example cyclists using hand signals to show they are turning.
Think of an accident that happens regularly around the home or at school. For example: jamming fingers in a door or tripping over a mat/step.
Can you use technology to ‘invent’ something that may solve this problem? Be as creative as you can be. Try to make your invention as practical as possible.
Extra resources: Not required
Time: allow at least 40 minutes to complete this task
Curriculum links: English, Design and Technology
(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers, Punctuation)
Think of all the different types of activities that may require a helmet. Cycling, Cricket, AFL, Skydiving, Motorbike Riding etc. Can you think of any others?
Create a list of three adjectives that describe each of these activities that require a helmet and put them into a sentence.
Eg: Cycling = Swift, fast, rapid
Time: allow about 15 minutes to complete this task
Curriculum links: English, Big Write, VCOP
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