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A Bike Taillight that Goes Beyond Mere Taillighting (Video)

Roblimo posted about 3 months ago | from the a-bike-light-that-plays-pong-on-your-back dept.

Hardware 86

Meet David. Tim Lord ran into him at the 2014 Maker Faire Bay Area. He didn't have a display, and he wasn't obviously trying to sell anything or promote a Kickstarter campaign. He was just walking around with a panel full of LEDs that he wears as a backpack while riding his bike, which beats the heck out of regular bike taillights, even the blinky flashy ones a lot of us have these days. So good on you, David. This is your three minutes of Slashdot fame -- and please note, people, that you can now fast-forward through any preroll ads longer than 30 seconds, so you won't get bombed with multi-minute ads to watch a three minute Slashdot video. (Alternate video link)

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86 comments

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Great job David! (2)

xmas2003 (739875) | about 3 months ago | (#47132163)

As a fan of lights myself, that's pretty darn awesome - great job David.

Bummer the video didn't have any product demonstrations in low light while on a bike ...

Re:Great job David! (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 3 months ago | (#47132293)

It was a bit hard to see in the video... and I think it needs to be a little bit brighter in any case, even in daylight a good bike light is clearly visible.

Note to cyclists: as a motorist who often drives down poorly lit country roads with lots of bicycle and car traffic, I see many cyclists with poor illumination, namely those poxy blinky LED lights. The blinking red ones are hard to see and the blinky front ones usually are *way* short on power, and hard to see during dusk or dawn. Please get one that doesn't blink and puts out a good amount of light. I'd hate to damage my car again... (and in NL, the motorist pretty much always pays)

Re:Great job David! (0)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 3 months ago | (#47132847)

A kid in my town was skateboarding and he was hit by a drunk driver. hit and run, driver gtfo'd. kid was 20. driver was 17. I don't think an LED would have helped him, no matter how bright.

Re:Great job David! (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 3 months ago | (#47134899)

It might have saved him, if the drunk driver would have spotted him earlier because of it. Besides, good illumination is not about making you safe from any and all accidents, it's about vastly improving your odds in situations that can potentially turn into an accident.

Re:Great job David! (1)

gadget junkie (618542) | about 3 months ago | (#47133067)

It was a bit hard to see in the video... and I think it needs to be a little bit brighter in any case, even in daylight a good bike light is clearly visible. Note to cyclists: as a motorist who often drives down poorly lit country roads with lots of bicycle and car traffic, I see many cyclists with poor illumination, namely those poxy blinky LED lights. The blinking red ones are hard to see and the blinky front ones usually are *way* short on power, and hard to see during dusk or dawn. Please get one that doesn't blink and puts out a good amount of light. I'd hate to damage my car again... (and in NL, the motorist pretty much always pays)

lucky you. I live in Italy, where usage is low, but authorities have an hardon to increase bike usage. Pity that in their enthusiastic laissez faire attitude they do not enforce any kind of behaviour on cyclists, so in the dark you simply try to avoid dark shapes against a darkish background. Tonight, out of about twenty bikers, 1 (one) had a working light set but he was cycling on the wrong side, the rest were practically invisible, without even reflectors, and two were cycling in the dark side by side. some were handling their cell phones at the same time of course.
I do expect my investment in an onboard camera to pay off, unfortunately, when one of these bumbling fools gets too darn close for comfort. Sorry, but stupidity should pay a price in real life. Why should I get stuck with the bill because I drive carefully and you do not?

Re:Great job David! (1, Flamebait)

emj (15659) | about 3 months ago | (#47133353)

I do expect my investment in an onboard camera to pay off, unfortunately, when one of these bumbling fools gets too darn close for comfort. Sorry, but stupidity should pay a price in real life. Why should I get stuck with the bill because I drive carefully and you do not?

Well you are driving around in a massively dangerous thing that destroys the lives of so many people, that's why you should pay when you hit a person. Because when cars are driven too fast, anything above 30 km/h, they kill people.

Re:Great job David! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47133913)

I do expect my investment in an onboard camera to pay off, unfortunately, when one of these bumbling fools gets too darn close for comfort. Sorry, but stupidity should pay a price in real life. Why should I get stuck with the bill because I drive carefully and you do not?

Well you are driving around in a massively dangerous thing that destroys the lives of so many people, that's why you should pay when you hit a person. Because when cars are driven too fast, anything above 30 km/h, they kill people.

Sweet! So, when I jump out from behind a bush in front of you riding your bike, while I'm wearing nitroglycerin strapped to my chest, it will be entirely your fault that I get hurt! Pay up, bitch, I have the right of way!

Re:Great job David! (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | about 3 months ago | (#47134329)

Well, the thing is, roads do not ban bikes from them. And bikes are obliged to follow much of the same laws as cars, at the least for driving. Not safety.

Re:Great job David! (1)

gadget junkie (618542) | about 3 months ago | (#47134789)

I do expect my investment in an onboard camera to pay off, unfortunately, when one of these bumbling fools gets too darn close for comfort. Sorry, but stupidity should pay a price in real life. Why should I get stuck with the bill because I drive carefully and you do not?

Well you are driving around in a massively dangerous thing that destroys the lives of so many people, that's why you should pay when you hit a person. Because when cars are driven too fast, anything above 30 km/h, they kill people.

Lol ! you are the perfect example. in what universe one race can flout all existing laws, an as a consequence the other race is stuck with more laws, and it had many more to comply to begin with?
where I live, there are bike only lanes physically separate from car lanes. I am more likely to spot Godzilla reading a sport magazine at my cocktail bar than a cyclist using them.
for a start, all those who use a racing cycle will never use a cycle lane. it's not as clean a car lane, where the traffic gets rid of pebbles, leaves and other residue on the lane. As purists, they are loathe to mount any front lights, back lights and so forth. the rest, the "recreational cyclists", are even worse.
I can on a humane level understand your instinct to protect the weak, but when there are laws for that, everybody is expected to follow them, especially if they make sense: Being visible in the dark, when you are a cyclist, it's not something people should be reminded of. So I am interested in your opinion:if I hit a cyclist who is dressed to be invisible, in a dark road with a separate cycle lane, and he's going in the wrong direction, at what speed society thinks that morons like that should pay my car instead of the other way around? that's why I use an onboard camera. People have been hardwired that provided that they are perceived as doing the "right thing", it's always someone else's fault.

Re:Great job David! (1)

xorsyst (1279232) | about 3 months ago | (#47145381)

So yes - those blinky ones are great for spotting in periphery vision, but terrible for tracking the movement of the cyclist. You really MUST have a solid rear light if cycling in the dark. A blinky one as well is good, but the solid makes all the difference.

Re:Great job David! (1)

mellon (7048) | about 3 months ago | (#47133373)

I would worry that you'd do something to distract or offend a driver behind you with this thing and get hit. I'm not convinced that it's a safety win. It's definitely a fun hack, though.

Re:Great job David! (1)

markdavis (642305) | about 3 months ago | (#47134355)

I agree totally. It might get one seen, but it is distracting to the point it probably would be very dangerous for the wearer.

Re:Great job David! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47134125)

I can't view the video because Slashdot requires a proprietary plugin to view it but it sounds like this guy lifted the idea from Ben Heckendorn [youtube.com] .

what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47132231)

He was "walking around" while "riding his bike." What? How the F?

won't want ANY preroll ads (1, Offtopic)

X0563511 (793323) | about 3 months ago | (#47132233)

Sorry, Dice. Suck on a chode.

Already got something better... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47132239)

Got two Monkey Lights on my rear wheel that light up pretty good as I commute on Tokyo's streets, no need for any backpack or such.

Re:Already got something better... (-1, Troll)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 3 months ago | (#47132475)

I have something better too. It's called a car.

Re:Already got something better... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47132665)

I have something better too. It's called a truck.

Re:Already got something better... (3, Funny)

mellon (7048) | about 3 months ago | (#47133391)

I have something better too. It's called an imperial walker. STOMP

Re:Already got something better... (1)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about 3 months ago | (#47136975)

Feh. I'll take you down with tow cables fired from my Bagger 288. [wikipedia.org]

SFW: Rule 34 in action. [lurkmore.so]

seems bulky (3, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about 3 months ago | (#47132243)

Seems a bit big and bulky for a bicycle rider, where every ounce counts.

Re:seems bulky (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47132327)

Seems a bit big and bulky for a bicycle racer, where every ounce counts.

Fixed that for you. For us non-racers, a few extra pounds isn't a big deal, especially when you're already carrying a backpack with a laptop or books or groceries or whatever.

Re:seems bulky (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 3 months ago | (#47132391)

I ride too. Every ounce does count when riding long distances, especially when you've got a backpack on.

Re:seems bulky (3, Interesting)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 3 months ago | (#47133011)

Define "Long Distance"?

Heck, I always have a backpack on when I ride. It has spare tubes, tools, extra water, phone, etc. When I bike to work, it also has a soda, office keys, and some clothes for when I get to work.

The ride to work is 15 miles. I wouldn't call that "long distance." But I've done 60 mile rides with the backpack and no problems. I'm doing a 100 mile ride in a few weeks and I'll definitely have the backpack.

C'mon--toughen up! :^D

Re:seems bulky (4, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | about 3 months ago | (#47133401)

Do people actually ride bicycles long distances with a backpacks on? Haven't y'all heard of panniers?

Re:seems bulky (1)

NotWallaceStevens (701541) | about 3 months ago | (#47135373)

Once you use a rack and panniers it's hard to go backpack.

Re:seems bulky (1)

mellon (7048) | about 3 months ago | (#47138787)

I see what you did there. :)

Re:seems bulky (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 3 months ago | (#47138799)

No every ounce counts when you want to get somewhere fast with minimum effort. If you want long distance riding you should take a look at what some of the professional tourers do. Some of the features of one bike I saw on display:

- Steel alloy frame won't crack at the first sign of a jolt, and easy to repair with a welder.
- Large tyres with thick rubber to ride over glass, rocks and other nasties.
- Internal gear hubs (hub is heavier than both of my racing wheels + tires combined).
- HID headlamps and large lithium batteries.
- 2-way radio + antenna.
- Solar power to recharge batteries and run radio during day.
- Single wheel trailer to carry water, spare parts, and supplies.

The bicycle I described and several very similar bicycles rode from Perth to Broome [google.com.au] and from Brisbane to Canberra [google.com.au] 6 months after that.

2000km in one trip, and they definitely do not care about weight.

Me personally? Well I have a sealed lead acid battery on my bicycle that I drive to work every day. I ripped the thin racing tyres off and put the largest reinforced tyres that would fit on my rim on my bike. I carry a backpack to work with a laptop, change of cloths, and some lunch.

You'll find most commuters or long distance riders do not give a crap about weight, just like most vehicle commuters are not sports cars.

Re:seems bulky (1)

Charles Duffy (2856687) | about 3 months ago | (#47143035)

Dunno 'bout you, but I'm on a bike to get somewhere. Getting there safely -- which paying some costs in weight for better lighting, thicker rims, and a frame built of high-grade steel (with its far safer failure modes than aluminum or carbon fiber) supports -- is more important than a few extra seconds that will probably be spent waiting at a stop light anyhow (and yes, I do put my foot down at stop lights, because my priority is safety, not shaving off seconds). Sure, I'm carrying a little more weight and fighting a little more rolling resistance -- but since I'm riding for utility rather than sport, the point A I'm departing from and the point B I'm going to are fixed... so that just means slightly more exercise in between, which means I'm taking pounds off of me, not off my bike.

Re:seems bulky (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 3 months ago | (#47132983)

IM working with an 8x8 grid of these RGB LEDs right now on my desk from adafruit. That thing is a huge mess. First of all i would have used sewable pixels, not some box strapped to my back. I dont want to knock his work, maybe he designed it a while ago, but it seems unnecessarily bulky.

Re:seems bulky (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47133637)

Seems a bit big and bulky for a bicycle rider, where every ounce counts.

It's a prototype. That design lends itself to mas production. You could have that produced as a 1/4" thick flexible mat that weighed less than a few ounces and could be priced under $10. It would be pretty easy actually.

Re:seems bulky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47137185)

You'd be amazed how difficult it is to put such a thing in mass production in an affordable way. Your options are limited due to the high cost of flexible substrates: Polyimide is a nice material but it has a few problems. And for textile applications you want stretchable devices and not just flexible ones. Manual wiring like 3M does for their safety products is nice, but only doable for very large numbers with few LEDs. Not to mention that the possible technologies all still have a few issues left. And yes I know you've seen the fancy movies from companies like MC-10 (marketing > engineering) and PolyIC (limited integration at the moment), but take a look at what they actually have in production and who developed the actual technologies. Currently the required technology is still mostly stuck in a couple of the large European research institutes waiting for manufacturers to pick it up.

(Disclaimer: I do research on a very closely related subject and am very familiar with the topic at hand.)

Drunk drivers (3, Insightful)

fizzer06 (1500649) | about 3 months ago | (#47132247)

They are attracted to flashing lights and will home in on this like a June bug to a porch light. Having said that, it looked very well done.

Re:Drunk drivers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47132365)

[citation needed]

Or are you just a stupid little fag man?

Re:Drunk drivers (0)

mmell (832646) | about 3 months ago | (#47132413)

Crazy. I'm familiar with the study Fizzer06 is referring to (I've seen it myself), but my google-fu doesn't seem to be up to the task of finding it.

Fizzer06 is absolutely correct. You are absolutely useless. I guess that explains why you posted as Anonymous Coward, eh? Please affix a red, flashing light to your head and stand on the side of a dark highway until the inevitable happens. Please?

Re:Drunk drivers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47132585)

Saying I use hosts to evade police while I surf little boy porn http://slashdot.org/comments.p [slashdot.org] ... [slashdot.org]

Libeling me saying my WARE IS A VIRUS etc. too? Please -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p [slashdot.org] ... [slashdot.org] (1 of 2)

Libeling me saying my WARE IS A VIRUS etc. too? Please -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p [slashdot.org] ... [slashdot.org] (2 of 2)

THEN RECANTING THAT LIBEL HERE http://slashdot.org/comments.p [slashdot.org] ... [slashdot.org]

?

ERRONEOUSLY saying I was creating a DNS replacment (which it's not, it shores up DNS redirect security issues & resolves FASTER locally in RAM vs. remote lookups) -> http://tech.slashdot.org/comme [slashdot.org] ... [slashdot.org]

Saying VI can do all my APK Hosts File Engine can do (not) & running -> http://slashdot.org/comments.p [slashdot.org] ... [slashdot.org] when VI can't?

* Please... lol!

APK

P.S.=> You have SERIOUS issues - get over your ''geek angst" already (you're not even much of a 'geek' based on your technical screwups above)... apk

Alex, go get some help. (1)

mmell (832646) | about 3 months ago | (#47133315)

First, all of your post is old business.

Second - if all you can do is argue incessantly, spamming the board with your wild invective it is more and more evidence of your mental instability. I'm sorry that my previous analysis was too accurate for your comfort; too correct for you to accept as anything but an attack.

Third - if I've committed libel (as you repeatedly say) you will need to seek redress in court. Your inability to do so against all that you have threatened (and there are several) would seem to confirm your inability to do so. I have even given you my contact information, yet no subpoena appears to be forthcoming.

You really need to seek out professional help. Even without a degree in psychology I can clearly see how you came to be so badly damaged. Get help soon, before something terrible happens young man. I am certainly your superior in both age and mental abilities. You're the one repeatedly advertising the state of your software. My opinion no longer matters, as you keep reposting it here in your own words.

Please call 800-543-3638.

Re:Drunk drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47138533)

"I use hosts to evade police while I surf little boy porn"

- Alexander Peter Kowalski

Re:Drunk drivers (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 3 months ago | (#47132871)

as I posted above, a kid in my town was hit and killed by a drunk driver a couple months ago. he was skateboarding with his friends in the margin. regardless of the number or type of lights you have on, if a driver is drunk it doesn't matter.

I was in kansas city recently and my taxi driver from the airport was telling me about good strategies to avoid a DUI. I suggested he avoid one next time by not drinking and driving! It was my first taxi ride in a long time; Uber hadn't come to KC yet.

Re:Drunk drivers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47134519)

5 rules to avoiding a DUI

1: Don't get pulled over for stupid shiat like having a brake light out or an expired license plate.
2: Maintain your lane
3: Do the speed limit
4: Stop when required to do so by lights or signs
5: Know your own limits even if it's higher than the ridiculously low legal limit. Sometimes you really are too drunk to drive

Re:Drunk drivers (1)

Roger Lindsjo (727951) | about 3 months ago | (#47134689)

And of course the almost foolproof one. Don't drink and drive.

Re:Drunk drivers (3, Insightful)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 3 months ago | (#47133429)

Not just drunk drivers. Any driver can be easily distracted. A driver who is distracted from other things going on around them is also very dangerous to you, even if you're the source of their distraction. The goal should be maximum visibility without distraction, not maximum visibility caused by maximum distraction. Pong, smiley faces, and the occasional word? Yeah, that's meant to be distracting.

Re:Drunk drivers (1)

dinfinity (2300094) | about 3 months ago | (#47135443)

Oh, come on. Only if it's one person standing out from the crowd. If everybody had multicolored flashing lights as tail lights, it wouldn't be distracting at all.

Bike innovation bandwagon (1)

Meanderthal (2627321) | about 3 months ago | (#47132337)

check out what these croatian guys are doing with integrated bicycle technology: their Visiobike is perhaps alittle ahead of its time, but i'd get one. see their indiegogo campaign at igg.me/at/visiobike looks like they need our support.

Road Legal? (2)

frootcakeuk (638517) | about 3 months ago | (#47132369)

I'm pretty sure the legality of this in use on the road using animations or any colour other than red is questionable at best.

Road Legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47132595)

I'm pretty sure the legality of this in use on the road using animations or any colour other than red is questionable at best.

As for flashing red google " moth effect". No flashing red blinkies in my family.

That's the 1980's tech version. (4, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | about 3 months ago | (#47132419)

You could get an old laptop display, or even a tablet, be it Android or iProduct and beat this thing in every way. But you can't see a tablet well in the sunlight? I think it's obvious from this video you can't see that thing in the daylight either.

I'm not knocking the guys ability or talents, but he invented the light display AFTER the Jumbotron came out.

I'm a cyclist, I think things like Monkey lights are incredibly awesome, I think the new inner rim lights are great, but this isn't on point.

Re:That's the 1980's tech version. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47132579)

Okay... but you don't really need lights in the day... you have the sun.

Re:That's the 1980's tech version. (1)

pecosdave (536896) | about 3 months ago | (#47132637)

.........that was part of the point.........

Re:That's the 1980's tech version. (3, Insightful)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 3 months ago | (#47133449)

Okay... but you don't really need lights in the day... you have the sun.

I disagree. A blinking red taillight that is visible in the daytime does help cars notice you (without distracting them like this thing would). In the daytime there's not so much the issue of not being seen by the driver's eyes, but there is of being noticed by their brain.

So what... (0)

solidraven (1633185) | about 3 months ago | (#47132429)

And this is supposed to be impressive how?

Looks pointless to me (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 3 months ago | (#47132441)

What problem is this solving?

which beats the heck out of regular bike taillights

It "beats the heck" out of them? Well, thanks for that devastatingly insightful exposé of the limitations of existing bike lights.

"Instead of having a blinking red light, which is very boring..."

Heaven forfend that my blinking red light should bore a driver.

Re: Looks pointless to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47132473)

Bore: no. Distract: yes. Make cyclist safer: No. Drive a car for a while, helps make you a safer cyclist.

Re: Looks pointless to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47132945)

Well speaking from experience you should ride a bike for a while, it most certainly will make you a better driver.

Re: Looks pointless to me (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about 3 months ago | (#47133007)

As they say, walk a mile in another man’s shoes.. ..no, wait, that’s being a pedestrian. *slaps forehead*

Re: Looks pointless to me (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 3 months ago | (#47140627)

As they say, walk a mile in another man’s shoes.

Because then you'll be a mile away from him, and you'll have his shoes.

alternate idea (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 3 months ago | (#47132465)

"and please note, people, that you can now fast-forward through any preroll ads longer than 30 seconds"
Or, and this may just be a popular opinion with some users, you can shove that video up your ass and I won't watch it at all because fuck you, you money-grubbing assholes. Oh and thanks for the bottom screen ad blocking everything. That's a nice improvement to slashdot too.

There's a reason this hasn't been made yet (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | about 3 months ago | (#47132513)

Flashing lights undoubtedly draw the attention of people behind them on the road.

The problem is they do their job too well and become mesmerizing, drawing attention away from actually driving. People become so focused on the lights they don't realise that they're driving dangerously close to the bike, they start to slowly edge onto the wrong side of the road or they simply miss hazards up ahead.

Lots of drivers dislike even simple blinking red lights because of this. This 'jumbotron' will actually make things far more dangerous for everyone involved and is even of questionable legality.

Re:There's a reason this hasn't been made yet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47132875)

[citation please]

Re:There's a reason this hasn't been made yet (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 3 months ago | (#47133459)

You might start here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org]

Re:There's a reason this hasn't been made yet (1)

markw365 (185614) | about 3 months ago | (#47133133)

Drunk driver attention getter. Ooooh, look at the pretty light display, wham!

This might cause more accidents than it prevents (1)

ozduo (2043408) | about 3 months ago | (#47132515)

tabloid headline "motorist rubber necking to see what's on that cyclist runs over several others"

I stopped reading at "Faire" (2)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 3 months ago | (#47132523)

Aye, verily, the olde-fashioned stylings of words offendeth me, so I cutteth them out.

Smaller, lighter (3, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 3 months ago | (#47132545)

Build it into the flexible backpack, instead of a hard flat panel. Oh wait, now I have to have that particular backpack all the time, instead of something attached to he bike.
I get it...more lights are not a bad thing. But I'm not going to ride around being a billboard. I just want people to see me and not hit me.

Re:Smaller, lighter (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 3 months ago | (#47133043)

But I'm not going to ride around being a billboard.

Says the guy with the bike shirt covered in various company logos...

If I'm going to ride around being a billboard, I'm sure as hell getting paid for it.

Re:Smaller, lighter (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 3 months ago | (#47133827)

I have exactly zero logo bike shirts.
Oh wait...I have one. It promotes my local bike shop, owned by a friend of mine. Who gives me discounts.

Re:Smaller, lighter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47134293)

I'm not sure which is worse - driving along at night and some cyclist with a flashing LED that isn't visible until you're virtually on top of the guy, or the stupid fucks who ride in dimly lit streets wearing black clothes, no helmet, and they shoot out from side streets without looking. I nearly hit a couple of guys on the same intersection (I had right-of-way) because of that, on the same night a skater dressed in black shot out from under a bridge in a high speed zone. If I'd looked at my speedometer when he appeared, I'd most likely have killed him.

Re:Smaller, lighter (1)

kybred (795293) | about 3 months ago | (#47134417)

Or a shirt/vest with the electronics and battery in pockets.

Higher quality, please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47132841)

No, not the video. And not this particular video but others I've watched.

I mean the vocaloid thing. Stop with it, ok? Maybe youngums like it and are used to it, but for us geezers is like people are talking with a sock inside their mouths -- a used sock.

Specially for non-native speakers, nuances in pronunciation are important; it seems native speakers are much more adept at understanding by hearing than the rest of us.

But, well, you're paying... then do what you want. What is the impact of having higher quality sound by the way?

cool tech, hot back (1)

alphazulu0 (3675815) | about 3 months ago | (#47132921)

The technology here is cool, but the last thing I want to do on my bike is wear a backpack. Even on short rides, it seals the heat in and guarantees a sweaty back.

These are a bit flashy for me, but they're wheel mounted and pretty cool looking:

http://www.monkeylectric.com/ [monkeylectric.com]

az0

Re:cool tech, hot back (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47133591)

These are a bit flashy for me, but they're wheel mounted and pretty cool looking:

Great. How do those help drivers see you from behind? Did you get paid for that link? If so, you're ripping someone off. That's a shitty way to make a link.

Re:cool tech, hot back (1)

alphazulu0 (3675815) | about 3 months ago | (#47137493)

I did not get paid in any way for that link. I have no relationship with that company or product. I don't even own it, since as I said, it's too flashy for me. I'm just an avid bike rider who remembered a kickstarter for a similar device. Do you criticize every comment that links to a product relevant to the story?

Hard enclosure? (1)

Anaerin (905998) | about 3 months ago | (#47133023)

Why is he proposing a hard enclosure for this? It would be a lot more practical (not to mention more convenient and lighter) to sew these into the covering flap of a messenger bag or similar (like he had), using easily-obtainable RGB LEDs on flexible PCB strips (like he was using) that are already sealed and watertight. The only difficulty would be sealing the connecting points, but that wouldn't be too much of an issue, and if you're going whole hog and making from the SMT parts up (instead of repurposing already made components) you could make a square sheet of flexible PCB for the whole thing.

Also, aren't there laws against putting flashing/strobing/colour-changing signs and lights in front of people's faces while they drive? While better visibility is good, techno-disco-light-shows distracting all and sundry on the road is bad.

Re:Hard enclosure? (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 3 months ago | (#47133481)

Just solder a bunch of SMT LEDSs together with thin wire and laminate.

Re:Hard enclosure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47134297)

The hard enclosure is to provide some protection from when you invariably get shot at for being a cyclist.

In my experience, drivers hate cyclists and want us greenie weenie hippie types off the roads. (just ask Jeremy Clarkson)

tmstains;dw (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47133243)

Too many sites to allow in NoScript; didn't watch ...

Could be great for motorcyclists (1)

Ziggitz (2637281) | about 3 months ago | (#47134347)

If some more professional research and design was put into this it could be extremely useful for motorcyclists. When most people drive they're mostly just looking for other cars and a motorcyclist that looks extremely visible to a dashboard cam in the aftermath of an accident can easily go unnoticed by an inattentive driver. Something like a large red light bar at the top of the backpack that could triggered by the motorcycle's front and/or rear brake could give a night time rider a more similar profile to a car in poor light could them more noticeable and safer. Some work could be done to figure out what kind of profile any additional lights and patterns could be used to make them more noticeable too.

I'm out... (1)

Bazman (4849) | about 3 months ago | (#47134661)

..as they say on Dragon's Den. Engineer this down to *cloth* and I might be interested. So I can roll it up and stuff it in my backpack. And make it not black when the batteries fail. And make it only slightly more expensive than one of those hi-viz cyclist vests. What? They give those away for free? Could you sell one of these things for $5/£5 and still make a profit?

For a fiver I could wrap my bike and myself in reflective material and not have to worry about batteries.

content not available (1)

YoungManKlaus (2773165) | about 3 months ago | (#47134703)

please check back later :(

Banned-ish in... (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about 3 months ago | (#47135041)

Just checking in to remind everyone not to use this gadget in the great city of Boston, MA [wikipedia.org]

Wow, it's fucking nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47135105)

It's a board with LEDs that flash. Amazing.

Improve the odds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47135289)

I feel it is all about improving the odds.

Electroluminescent (E.L.) wires outlining the bike provide a totally unambiguous, if impractical and expensive solution.

My mother was once saved in a car accident by NOT wearing her seatbelt. She was thrown from the car before it went over an embankment. This is NOTan argument against seatbelts.

I feel reflectors in the spokes are the best defense from the side, while blinking front and rear LEDS provide the rest. Solar chargers might even help by improving the odds against a dead battery.

Cop Car Crash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47135741)

Given it takes about two seconds on youtube to find dozens of videos of cop cars being hit while making roadside stops (where the associated flashing cop car lights and other fanfare clearly didn't stop the driver from hitting them) I'm not sure ANYTHING is really going to make a cyclist that much safer.

Is this new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136877)

How is this better than the LED T-shirts already on the market?

VisiPack video (1)

dhenshaw (3685047) | about 2 months ago | (#47183445)

I'm David, the guy in the video. Thanks, Tim, for posting! Since you couldn't really see what the patterns on the LED were, here's a video of it in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
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