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Shift gears on Toyota's bike with your mind alone

July 30, 2011 |  7:00 am

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When you're pedaling along the open road on a bike, sometimes shifting gears is a drag. That's when Toyota's mind-controlled bike may come in handy.

The minimalistic-looking bike, made in conjunction with Saatchi LA, Parlee Cycles and Deeplocal, comes with a built-in smartphone dock, a carbon-fiber frame -- and a helmet that reads electrical brain activity.

Getprev Developed by human/digital interface specialists Deeplocal, the helmet is stuffed with neurotransmitters that allow riders to shift gears "without using a single one of their appendages," according to the bike's webpage. Think "gear shift," and that command is sent to an iPhone app, which in turn controls the bike and makes it obey your wishes.

It supposedly only takes a few minutes for the helmet to adjust to your individual brain waves to allow for smooth gear shifting on the road. There are also levers for manual shifting -- you know, in case the force is not with you that day.

The Prius X Parlee (PXP) concept bicycle is part of Toyota Prius Projects, which could eventually be a cool incubator for innovative side projects by the folks at Prius, but for now is a mishmash of random factoids about their Prius hybrid, plus some extras.

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-- Shan Li

Upper Photo: The Toyota mind-controlled bike prototype. Lower: A helmet to shift gears on the Toyota bike. Credit: Toyota Prius Project

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