Saturday, August 18, 2007

Pardon me while I slip into something, um, flashy...

Here's an expensive solution to another readily avoidable 'problem' - being seen at night. This jacket is supposed to cost about 100 pounds. Dunno what that is in dollars, but regardless, it's spendy. Also, I'd have to wonder how long it would last in regular commuting use. We get wet and we move a lot, making life difficult for electronics, wiring, and batteries.

There's a video of the jacket in use at the bottom of the article.


The cycling jacket with built-in brake lights and indicators


It's every cyclist's nightmare - it's dark or getting that way, you have just given a hand signal, but will other road users have seen it?

Well, they will now, thanks to an innovative jacket with flashing indicators on the sleeves and brake lights in the back.

Its inventor Michael Chen has landed a design award for the high-tech coat and hopes to find a manufacturer to produce it on a mass scale.

Amber indicators are triggered to flash by a "tilt-switch" when the wearer raises their arm to give a hand signal.

And a device called an "accelerometer" is used to turn an LED, woven into the jacket's back, green when the rider is moving forward or red when they apply the brakes.

London-based Mr Chen, 28, got the idea watching cyclists in the capital. He said: "There is a lot of hostility from bus and cab drivers towards cyclists.

"Cyclists are brave. It is so dangerous without bike lanes. When I visited Korea last year, I noticed their cities had better bike lanes than London."



Blogger Yokota Fritz said...

I use reflective gloves and arm bands for night-time signalling. Still, the jacket's flashy and kinda cool.

£100 is $200.

12:12 AM  
Blogger danc said...

The "cycle jacket" is an interesting product, off course Mr Chen and any other cyclist do not need "bravery" to ride at night, just common sense! The first 100£ should go into a helmet, mirror, front and rear lights and bright reflective clothing. Following the rules of the road and being streetwise will prevent accidents so include a basic class in cycling, see John Franklin's, Cyclecraft book or and you'll still have 10£
for a round of Guinness!

Being "conspicuous" at night is extremely important. How about developing a "bluetooth" light switch standard for bicycle industry!

12:42 PM  

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