Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I think therefore I shift

I think therefore I shift (photo from Prolly is not probably)

What if I told you that you can shift gears on this bike with nothing but your grey matter? You'd probably say, "You Parlee crap!" But I don't, I Parlee the truth. With the Toyota Prius X Parlee Concept bike, you can change gear simply by thinking about it. Doesn't seem possible? No it doesn't. But according to my computer nerd friend IT and Technology Consultant, this sort of technology is now available.

The folks behind this project hacked a Shimano electronic drivetrain and synched it with a neuro sensor helmet (yeah, you know, a neuro sensor helmet...everyone's got one, right?). After a series of training exercises, a rider can then simply think to shift. I wish I could understand how this sort of thing works. And then explain it to you. Alas, I was lost at "think".

This sort of project excites me a bit. Sure, it might seem a bit ridiculous but I think it would unwise to proclaim that this isn't the way of the future. I'm certain that if this technology was readily available, cyclists would flock to it. Anything that reduces energy exertion, no matter by how little, is always welcomed by cyclists. And no doubt there are other advantages that will be realised that I don't have the foresight to predict. Still, I think it's safe to say that this will be mainstream some time in my lifetime (note: I plan to die sometime around 2080).

So, here's the video that doesn't explain how it works but is very pretty;

And how good is the marketing? "A bike that was sort of the same mindset as a Toyota Prius..." Ah, if I'd heard someone say that without the background knowledge I can safely say I wouldn't be picturing a race-ready road bike that can read your mind. I think I'd be visualising something more along the lines of a recumbent that generates its own electricity which powers a blender for the cyclist's wheatgrass supply. But hey, good on Toyota for getting out there and having a red hot go.

You can read more about the project here.

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