Synchronized bicycle safety lights that flash in unison in order to make cyclist more visible and recognizable on the road.
About this project
As cyclists we all have our reasons for being out on the roadways. For some it’s our fitness routine or a way to socialize with friends. For others, the choice to ride a bike to work might be financially or socially driven. Regardless, we all want to be safer out on the roads. One of the biggest challenge is to be more visible to motorists. Today, distracted motorists are a major problem. I am working very hard on deliver real solutions.
This innovation came to me when I was following a cyclist, filming him as he rode through city traffic. The cyclist had three lights that were all flashing a random intervals. I was struck by how this rider with three lights was actually no more visible than a cyclist with just one light.
That got me thinking and that is when I came upon the analogy with the three flashing lights on a radio tower. If the lights were flashing randomly, a pilot would have no way to understand these were not lights on the ground. The lights flashing in unison help the pilot understand not only where it is but also how fast they are approaching the object. If the lights are moving away from each other, the pilot is approaching the object.
The other insight that I gained from researching this and learning how we humans have the ability to pull out and see patterns on a chaotic background. Strobing together creates a pattern. That rider I was following might have been doing himself a disservice with the multiple lights. The opposite of a pattern is camouflage!
The safest way to position the 4Sync lights will be as spread out as much possible on the cyclist and the bike. I ride with one on the seat stay close to the rear hub. I position another on the seat bag or on the seat post. Finally, I put one on the helmet. Spreading the lights out help a motorist understand that they are approaching.
Risks and challenges
I have been involved in the design, development, marketing and sales of many bicycle accessories over the years. I understand the challenges in bringing product to market. I have found a quality manufacturer partner. Together, we have quickly worked through several prototype designs as well as working models.
We still have to cut production molds and get FCC approval on the wireless technology but I feel confident in the ability of my manufacturer partner. They have a long history with many other wireless technologies and securing the FCC approval.
There are risks with wireless and rechargeable technology. The challenge of getting production on a technology like this could be great.
At this point, I feel the greatest risk factors are in any unforeseen delays in the final manufacturing, testing and FCC approval. I have tried to add some buffer in my delivery forecast.