One of the founders of Swiss startup Velohub sent us their latest urban riding project. Set up to develop new tech for better and safer city riding, Velohub has taken their Blinkers project to a crowdfunding campaign to get the idea off the ground. Blinkers is a pair of front and rear rechargeable lights and integrated turn signal indicators that easily attach to most bikes and offer a simple and clear visual cue to let cars and pedestrians know your intentions. With a relatively narrow footprint on the bike they offer visibility and clear direction indication through the use of cascading LEDs. Take a closer look at how they work, plus their brake light function and laser ‘bike lane’ indicators after the jump…
Both front and rear lights use a total of about 30 small LEDs that that illuminate from center-out indicating which way the rider intends to turn. The front light adds a 200 lumen LED headlight and the rear gets a 100 lumen taillight in addition to the turn signals.
That rear light is actually an active brake light as well, that combines with an accelerometer inside to operates automatically warning those behind you that the rider is coming to a stop.
Blinkers keep operation simple with a small bar mounted RF remote that lets you easily signal turns and activate the lasers.
Yes, lasers. Two small beams on the rear Blinkers unit project parallel green lines on the ground behind the rider to indicate a safe perimeter, something of a virtual bike lane for nighttime or low visibility usage.
Overall the system has both a full power mode with battery life around 5-8hrs, and a Smart mode that varies their intensity based on an external light sensor. That means that for an average commuter you will need to recharge the Li-ion batteries via micro-USB charger about once a week.
Both front and rear light setups are the same size and while the 178mm/7″ wide body stands out quite a bit on the handle bar, it integrates pretty well under most saddles. The lights easily snap into place on their brackets with magnets, which makes them easy to take with you when you leave the bike outside or need to charge them.
A Kickstarter pledge starting at 70€ (plus shipping) will get you just the rear light, while bumping that up to 100€ will get the front & rear set. The turn signal lights are in the final stage of component selection with the crowdfunding campaign set to run for another two weeks. Final delivery is anticipated for the end of next winter, February 2017.