One of the cool things about going to a crazy tech event like SXSW Interactive in a different city is being able to meet with local entrepreneurs and check out the things that they’re working on. Yesterday, I got the chance to visit the offices of Chaotic Moon, a software and app development firm in Austin.
The company is probably best known for dev work that it’s done for clients like Rupert Murdoch’s The Daily, or the Marvel Unlimited app that just hit the Apple App Store. But when one of their coworkers was hurt in a brutal hit-and-run bike accident, they spent some time on a side project designed to help cyclists who find themselves in a similar situation.
The end result is a bike helmet prototype that includes seven cameras for a 360-degree field of vision, and a built-in accelerometer and microphone to recognize sudden movements or loud noises. The idea is not only to provide a sort of black box to help cyclists in the case of an emergency to gather information about accidents, but to raise awareness about bicycle safety in general, and to show manufacturers just how quickly and inexpensively such a thing could be put together.
The whole project took about a week, Chaotic Moon Labs GM Whurley told us, and the company not only tied together all the hardware that was needed to make it work, but also built software to download and display all the different camera angles at once. Check out our video interview above to see how it was put together and how it works.