Blinkers – Reinventing Bike Lights

Blinker Bike Tail Light

 

You probably know that the rise of bicycle related deaths keeps growing every year, accounting for about 2% of deaths involving motor vehicles nationwide. Over 900 bicyclists were killed in the US in 2013 (16% increase from 2012) and there were an estimated 494,000 emergency department visits due to bicycle-related injuries. In Europe, more than 2000 cyclists die every year hit by cars. Velohub, a startup that’s building products to improve safety for urban cyclists, has introduced the worlds first all-in-one bike light warning system called BlinkersThe system includes detachable magnetic LED lights with headlights, tail lights, turn indicators, brake lights, a 100 lumen tail light laser unit, and a handlebar-mounted RF controller.

With the press of a left or right hand switch on the controller, a strip of LEDs above each of the lights illuminates sequentially to indicate the direction in which the cyclist is turning. The dual laser lane markers are activated by pressing a button in the center of the remote, while an accelerometer and gyroscope cause the brake light to come on automatically when the bike decelerates. Blinkers is being offered exclusively on Kickstarter for $110 (€99)

▪ Laser perimeter: Two laser beams are projected to the ground, creating a safety perimeter around the bicycle. Therefore, other cars know what area they need to respect to keep the cyclist safe, when riding under poor light conditions (night, bad weather). They can be activated and deactivated with the remote control so you can optimize the battery usage.

▪ Smart lights: The Blinkers are automatically activated once you attach them to the mounts of your bicycle. They also have a light sensor which measures the ambient brightness. You can set your Blinkers on the ‘smart light mode’, so that the intensity of the front head light and the rear position light varies in order to ensure maximum visibility. By using this mode, you can also optimize the battery usage.

▪ Control pad: All functionalities are controlled from the handlebar by an ergonomic remote, easily reachable with the thumb. The middle button activates the laser. Additionally, when Blinkers are running out of battery, a light on the control pad switches on to warn you.

▪ Rechargeable battery: Blinkers includes a rechargeable battery, which can be charged with a micro USB cable. The current prototypes are using 1600mAh Li-ion batteries, which translated into usage hour means that if you use the Blinkers for 1h a day, you only have to recharge them once every week. If you want to know how much battery is left in your Blinker, you just have to turn it on and it will show on the LED screen for about 2 seconds. Otherwise, you can just plug in the micro USB cable.

▪ Water resistant: The Blinkers are fully water resistant, so you can perfectly use them when it’s raining.

Blinkers helps cyclists be SEEN, UNDERSTOOD, and EXPECTED by drivers in every situation and from every angle.

Product specifications

  • Lumens: the front head light has 200 lumens, for the cyclist to see ahead of him under poor light conditions. The rear position light and the turning indicators provide 100 lumens, in order for the cyclist to be seen clearly by every other vehicle in the road.
  • Remote: the technology we are using for the communication between the remote control and the Blinkers is RF (radio frequency). It has a replaceable coin cell battery, which only has to be replaced once every 6 months.
  • Accelerometer & Gyroscope: they measure the motion of the cyclist, and trigger the braking light whenever the cyclist is braking.
  • Modes: the Blinkers have two different modes. The first mode, ON, sets the brightness of the lights to full power, and the second mode, Smart ON, varies the intensity of the lights in order to save battery life (while of course ensuring maximum visibility).
  • Weight: Blinkers have an approximate weight of 170g.
  • Dimensions: the picture below shows the exact measures of the current design.
  • Lasers: they will have a power of 5mW, and they are 3R class lasers (IEC 60825-1 standard), which are certified as safe to sell to the public.
  • Supports: We have developed a magnetic system which holds the Blinker securely in place during the ride and makes it easy to snap-on and snap-off. In that way, you can take Blinkers with you in less than 5 seconds.
  • Handlebar: the Front Blinker mount is designed to fit any common handlebar. A single bolt is needed to fasten it, with the nut already embedded in the support itself, like a GoPro.

You can place it under or over the handlebar, we simply let you decide, as the connection between the Blinker and the mount is symmetrical and allows these two configurations.

  • Saddle: the Rear Blinker is placed directly under the saddle, with a mount attached to the small horizontal tubes (also known as rails) situated directly underneath the saddle. These cylindrical rails are also common on sprung saddles. The only exception to these is pictured below: you will not be able to install the Rear Blinker in rectangular shaped rails.

Universal adaptation is achieved through the use of rubber inserts, to adjust the rear support to different rail sizes.

  • Rack: racks often have fastening holes with standard measures at the back for red position lights. We have designed a mount which can be fastened to any of these standard holes with a pair of bolts and nuts.
  • Basket: the addition of a simple flat piece enables the rack mount to become a basket mount, attachable to the basket’s grid (again with bolts). It even has a central fastening hole if that is the only attachment possibility for your rack.

VeloHub Design Team

Velohub started with four students from ETH Zurich in Switzerland who were concerned about the safety of urban cyclists. Today, we are eight people working to solve this problem. Last year, in December 2015, we won the ETH Entrepreneur Club Award, and after that, we participated in the acceleration program at the Swiss Start-Up Factory, which provided us with a unique platform of services, coaching, mentoring and office space in Zurich, as well as an extensive entrepreneurial network.

We have also partnered with the design studio Sapetti, who has developed the design of the product, and with Erle Robotics, who supported us with the electronical design. Radzfaz (the coolest bike store in Zurich!) is responsible for the amazing bikes that appear in the video! Eternal thanks to all for your help!

The company was founded in April 2016 and our long-term vision is to keep developing smart technology devices to improve safety and experience in urban cycling.

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