Feeds

New cycle helmets emit stench if they need replacement

Skid-lid bonk-stink crack tech cracked in Germany

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Remorseless German boffins have come up with the greatest boon to humanity since self-warming hand cream: they have invented cycle helmets which begin to smell disgusting once they need to be replaced.

Many cyclists like to wear helmets in order to protect the bonce in the event of a mishap. The cheapest and lightest type of bump-hat - thus the most commonly used - uses a foam-like substance which offers excellent impact protection, but only once. If such a cycle helmet is damaged, for instance by being dropped, it will not work nearly as well in a traffic accident; thus it should be replaced.

But in many cases a light, glancing bonk doesn't actually affect the integrity of the helmet. Naturally users are reluctant to shell out on a new one if this is actually unnecessary. But how to know?

Enter the boffins of the Fraunhofer-Institut für Umwelt-, Sicher- heits- und Energietechnik (UMSICHT), in Oberhausen. They have devised a crafty method of sealing up tiny pockets of what they refer to as "odoriferous oil" in the structure of a cycle helmet. Given a light knock, nothing happens: but a bump strong enough to affect the helmet's effectiveness will rupture the cells and release the stinky oils, informing its owner in no uncertain terms that it's time to get a new one.

Minor damage creates only an unpleasant niff, seemingly, but "large cracks really cause a stink" according to a statement issued by UMSICHT.

"Cyclists often replace their helmets unnecessarily after dropping them on the ground, because they cannot tell whether they are damaged or not," explains Doktor-Ingenieur Christof Koplin of UMSICHT. "The capsules eliminate this problem. If cracks form, smelly substances are released."

Koplin believes that the pong-titfer technology could also be used in industrial hard hats, motorbike helmets, pressure hoses and most other applications where an early warning of material deterioration would be useful. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.