Feeds

New cycle helmets emit stench if they need replacement

Skid-lid bonk-stink crack tech cracked in Germany

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained
They just cannae do it in time, says analyst
Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed
It feels very familiar - but it's still good
Oh noes, fanbois! iPhone 6 Plus shipments 'DELAYED' in the UK
Is EMBIGGENED Apple mobile REALLY that popular?
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
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?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.