Boston-based Parlee Cycles is working on a concept bicycle which will reportedly feature brain-controlled gear shifting. Under development as part of the Toyota Prius Projects, the PXP as it's officially known, sits somewhere between a time-trial bicycle and a road bike in terms of geometry and the design uses carbon fiber to minimize the weight and maintain its rigidity.
The PXP project began in April 2011 when early sketches were first unveiled by Parlee Cycles. The bike has recently been put through wind tunnel testing and the think-to-shift technology is being developed by Deeplocal studio. This system would use neurotransmitters in the helmet to measure brainwaves and, via a wireless transmitter attached to the seat post, use them to operate an electronic gear shift.
At this stage the system is being controlled by a smartphone, but using thought-control isn't as far-fetched as it sounds (Toyota has already worked on brain-controlled wheelchair) and strikes us as a useful application of increasingly accessible ECG technology.
The progress of the PXP project is being followed in weekly updates from US-based cycling blogger John Watson of ProllyisnotProbably.com.