Now this is something that has really caught our eye – shown for the first time on the Dezeen.com website, this helmet design by Joe Doucet could really be a part of the future of helmets.

That’s because Doucet has not patented his idea or the tech he’s used to make it happen. the designer says that he’s decided to make this helmet a benefit that would prevent accidents, as well as protecting users in the event of one.

Doucet’s helmet design features a lid with built-in lights that flash red when the rider slows down or brakes. Called the Sotera Advanced Active Safety Helmet, the product is made of polycarbonate and the synthetic fibre kevlar. There is a LED light panel that runs through the bottom half of the helmet and it’s this part of the design and tech that Doucet is opening up to the world.

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“Currently, helmets are designed to limit injury after an accident. I simply asked, ‘what if helmets worked to prevent accidents instead?’. The design solution became rather obvious to me when viewed from that angle,” the designer told Dezeen.

The LED light panels on the helmet, which can be charged via a USB cable, are designed to make the motorbike rider more visible to drivers. Similar to the brake lights on a car, built-in accelerometers in the helmet detect when the biker is braking and switch to a red colour, alerting drivers behind them.

“Motorcycle lights are very low above the ground compared to other vehicles,” said Doucet. “Sotera solves this problem by putting the light at the eye-line of other drivers.”

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Doucet has chosen not to patent the invention so that companies can adopt the idea and reduce the risk of accidents. “I began the project with a goal of commercialising the helmets. Prior to filing the patents, I realised that the innovation had great potential to save lives. That would be like patenting a seatbelt and having it available to only one car company,” he said.

“I opened up the intellectual property to any company who chooses to produce a version of the helmet. Weighing the potential of saving a life against a royalty check is an easy decision to make.”

Tony Carter

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