Cyclist Jason Poindexter was riding his bike through traffic close to work in Austin, Texas when a motorist hit him and kept driving. He was left a bloody mess. While a select few who have been physically harmed take the vigilante approach to justice, in the case of Poindexter, his employer decided to get even by inventing a tool to prevent future hit and run criminals from getting away scot-free.
The bike helmet created by Chaotic Moon in Austin, Texas (aptly called the Helmet of Justice) is armed with an astounding seven cameras. They are activated in the event of a collision, giving a 360-degree view of the scene and storing the video to be retrieved later. Still in its development stage, the prototype helmet cost just $300.
Since the concern of being a victim of hit and run may be a very small target market, Chaotic Moon is wisely developing new features for the helmet, including a panoramic photo feature and GPS tracking that would give emergency services the precise location of the collision.
Video activation only after an impact appears to be a glaring flaw. The seconds or even minutes leading up to a crime is important, maybe even critical, for proving a criminal act. It would be interesting to see an actual accident caught on the helmet to see firsthand the quality of recorded evidence.
The National Safety Council has estimated the total cost of bicycle injuries and fatalities to be more than $4 billion a year. While the Helmet of Justice may save more lives and minimize head trauma with its structural design than with its surveillance, if it brings any hit and run criminals to justice, it’s worth the $300 research and development price tag.