improving bike safety ... by using a responsive jacket

one of the little concrete*monsters will get a new bike this friday... i found this nice idea to add more safety (visibility) to the biking fun::

design student michael chen (uk) came up with a concept for a (safety) jacket he calls reactiv.
:: i cycled round london for hours in the dark wearing my first prototype - a £10 waterproof jacket with LEDs stuck on by gaffer tape, :: he said. :: for the first time, i noticed that cars passed me more slowly, gave me more room, and that the drivers and passengers were even making eye contact. ::

the design has won a 'james dyson award' in 2008 from the dyson foundation that's dedicated to inspirating design innovation. (you know, the company that makes the stylish vacuum cleaners!)

:: michael was inspired by the 'nintendo wii' to come up with reactiv - a responsive cycling jacket.
the jacket uses an accelerometer that senses movement to change the colour of the LEDs in the back from green (accelerating) to red (braking). it has amber LEDs in the arms which are activated by a tilt switch behind the elbow. these light up when the arm is lifed, indicating the cyclist is about to turn.
reactiv allows the cyclist to communicate their intentions to other travellers and thus it will hopefully reduce the 20,000 incidents involving cyclists on london's roads every year.
british judges were impressed by the simplicity and effectiveness of michael's design. ::

design:: michael chen (uk)

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