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For all the good helmets do, they could be a lot better. If you spill a few times, you really don’t have a good idea whether your helmet is still safe to use. To fix that, a team of researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg, Germany are working on a manufacturing process that would help tell you when your helmet’s time is up. They scientists injected microcapsules that contain an odor-causing oil into the helmet materials. When that layer is cracked, a foul odor is emitted, alerting you that the helmet is now unsafe.

Which got me thinking. Say you get in a bad accident and are lying on the side of the road. I’m debating whether the smell would either be beneficial, or detract passerby from helping you. On the one hand, people could try to figure out where it was coming from and find your wrecked body and get it some help. Or they could try to avoid the smell as much as possible. Guess they better do some tests for that sort of thing.

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Chris Gullo