Cities can only do so much to improve bicyclists' safety — bike lanes and automatic traffic light sensors are great, but motorists are really the ones who have to pay attention for bike riders to be safe. An intrepid mechanical engineer has one solution: Make bike lights as obvious as car lights.
Kent Frankovich, a mechanical engineer trained at Stanford and the University of Texas, was riding home from school one day and wondered why his bike's headlamp was mounted so far from the ground, where it could do little to light his way — not to mention help drivers notice him. Last October, he started tinkering with wheel-mounted lights, developing several prototypes before settling on a wheel-mounted string of LEDs. He and two partners dubbed it Revolights, and are raising funds through Kickstarter to further product development.
As the bike wheels spin, the LEDs form an arc of light. The front lights illuminate the bike's path, while red rear lights ensure any passing cars will take notice. Because the lights trace the wheels' outline, drivers can more easily discern the size and location of the bike, which can be difficult to do with today's bright blinking LED handlebar- or helmet-mounted lights.
Revolights works by clipping a double aluminum alloy ring mounted with LED lights inside any bike wheel, just below the brake calipers. Six clips attach the rings to the spokes, and the battery system would connect to the wheel hub. As of now, the Revolights are powered by lithium ion polymer batteries, but the team is planning a version powered by wheel rotation.
Like other bike tech, the lights are prompted to turn on by a small magnet installed on the bike's fork, which interacts with the electronics in the rim. Algorithms calculate the wheel speed, and thus when the lights should blink on. In the video below, the lights appear to be blinking continuously, but that's an effect of the camera — human eyes would see it as forward-moving solid arc of light. Watch the video below to see it in action.
Frankovich and his partners Adam Pettler and Jim Houk plan to use Kickstarter funds to produce 5th- and 6th-generation prototypes and start a tester program before finalizing their design. If they have enough funds left over, they'll produce the first batch of Revolights, according to their Kickstarter page. Head over there to find much more information and how to get involved.
[via Fast Company]
Tron anyone? ;)
We're on the brink of so many advances in technology its impossible to conceive what will come in our lifetime. Don't comment on my spelling, i know it sucks, i jsut dont care ;)
Finally!....something we can sell en masse to China!
Keep the cost cheap and college students everywhere will buy these by the bushel...
This is amazing and simple, I would definitely like some of those babies.
i want it.
These are nice, though not entirely a unique concept.
Some illustrative examples, in ascending order of sophistication:
This is a great advance and don't get me wrong I love it, but cyclists won't truely be safe until they have there own, seperate, biking lanes apart for vehicle traffic. Another way would be if everybody started riding bikes like in the netherlands.
A bike/bike collision does much less damage than a bike/car collision. This is especially true in the US, where some cities still have a majority of larger vehicles with barely any wiggle room for the bike lane or no bike lane at all. I would love to bike more in the city, but it simply isn't worth the risk as a single father with how many people drive suv's here, I wouldn't want to risk my life or my daughters on the back.
We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are. ~Anais Nin~
This would be huge at the Burning Man Event! Just thought I would mention since it hit the 50,000 cap for the first time ever, and everyone likes decking out there bikes out there in the desert and especially loves bright lights. This would sell like gold out there.
I think you missed the concept of this. It's not to be decorative, but to actually serve the purpose of a head light and tail light on your bicycle.