There are more than a few interesting things going on here with these Blinkers Smart Cycling Light from Velohub, so I figured it would be worthwhile to post to see what you think.
I’m digging the rear brake light activated by the accelerometer as well as the laser projection to (hopefully) create spacial awareness. The magnetic attachment looks simple and convenient but I know from experience how often mounts fail—it would be interesting to see how they fare on DC’s streets. The auto-activation once installed is pretty killer as well.
What do you think? What are your concerns? I’d love to hear your opinions.
Full Press Release: Velohub Blinkers Smart Cycling Light
Velohub’s Blinkers Smart Cycling Light Available for Pre-Order on Indiegogo
Blinkers is the one thing that was missing for cyclists to be safer and to be a natural part of the road.
Zürich, CH — Velohub, a Swiss start-up based in Zürich specialized in developing smart technology for cyclists, today launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for their Blinkers lights. Blinkers is a smart bike light that makes cyclist seen, understood and respected by everyone else on the road.
The Blinkers lights indicate the direction of the turn the cyclist is taking, by blinking to the right or to the left. The rear Blinker also has a red light that becomes more intense when the cyclist is braking. As well as a laser that projects half a circle on the ground, which will increase visibility during the night and give cars a better understanding of what is the their space and what is the cyclist’s space. All of this is controlled by a remote control on the handlebar of the bike, easily reachable with the thumb. The Blinkers lights will available as just a rear light from €69 for early birds on Indiegogo, or as a set with front and rear lights from just €119.
“Technology needs to be used to empower cycling. If cyclists need to share the roads with cars, they need to have the same tools to show their intentions”
The lights can be charged with USB and are designed to be used for +/- 20 hours. They can be put on any bike with universal attachments on the handlebar, the saddle and the rack. Blinkers can be easily removed from the bike due to a magnetic system, so you can take them whenever the bike is locked. The system works with radiofrequency and a light on the remote control indicates when the Blinkers should be charged.
Around 2000 cyclists die every year in Europe because of accidents with cars, and most of these accidents happen on junctions, where visual interaction between bikes and other vehicles is of paramount importance.
Velohub wants to improve safety on bikes, by building the next generation of bike lights. It’s not about making them more powerful, but about adding a comprehensive set of safety functionalities, including smart lights, turning indicators, a brake light and a laser safety perimeter. With these features, cyclists are more respected, more visible and more predictable.
“As a cyclist, I ride on the road together with cars, and I really feel unprotected! Blinkers can provide me the chance of joining the road in a safe way.”
Previously Velohub ran a successful campaign for the Blinkers lights on Kickstarter and onboarded +500 backers, raising over €50,000 euros. Since the completion of that campaign in June last year, Velohub has been working hard to craft a top quality product, in terms of functionality, durability, price and design, all motivated by the success of the Kickstarter campaign. They’ve partnered with Zuhlke Engineering to achieve said goals and we are confident to say they are close to actual production. Arrow Electronics is a strategic partner of Indiegogo and they reviewed our electronics design and bill of materials and granted us the “Arrow certification” for our campaign, which means that we are very close to serial production.
With the launch of this new Indiegogo campaign Velohub is aiming to raise more capital. Even though last year they raised capital from private investors, hardware development is very complex, cost intensive and requires a lot of upfront investment. Coming to Indiegogo will help Velohub to accelerate the entry-to-market time of Blinkers, and have more flexibility for the coming production.
Velohub started with four students from ETH Zürich who were concerned about the safety of urban cyclists. We won the ETH Entrepreneur Club Award in December 2015, and the company was founded in June 2016 after the participation on a start-up acceleration programme at the Swiss Start Up Factory. The company is headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland.