Project Flock has created the world’s first ‘biomotion’ bike light that boosts our visibility at night to other road users by reminding drivers that cyclists are in fact human. The new concept lies in the fact that we don’t need to blind other road users to ensure we will be seen, but rather we can trigger drivers’ attention by lighting up the motion of our pedaling legs, thus unconsciously signaling to their brains that we are just people, too…
Flock Light unique biomotion cycling taillight
Be seen 5.5x sooner*. And be seen as a human, not just another inanimate object in the landscape.
Other bike taillights rely on intensely bright light output or eye-catching flashing patterns to ensure that we are seen while riding at night. But Project Flock has a new concept that illuminates your legs while pedaling, catching the attention of fellow road users at night by signaling their brains with a familiar pattern of human motion.
What is a biomotion taillight, and why does it work?
It’s all based on Clemson University research that showed “highlighting a cyclist’s biomotion was proven to remarkably increase their conspicuity” (*Edewaard et al. 2017). Seeing a cyclist moving in a more human way helps other road users’ brains more easily identify with them. And it also helps give a better sense of scale of the person on a bike, so it’s easier to perceive how close they are.
So Melbourne, Australia industrial designer Tim Ottaway decided to take advantage of this cognitive ability of our brains to recognize human movement almost instantaneously and created this Flock Light taillight that shines light down into a rider’s legs as they pedal. As a result, the lit-up motion is more important for visibility than how bright is the emitted light. So the light doesn’t need to be blindingly bright or annoyingly flashy for you to be seen.
Now, it’s getting Kickstarted into production, with the hope of helping to reduce cyclist-related crashes and collisions…
From the outside, the biomotion Flock Light looks a lot like other taillights that strap to your seatpost, plus the rather unique-looking fins that also function to direct light down at the back of your legs.
The 70mm tall x 35mm wide x 30mm deep taillight itself weighs a claimed 47g and is attached to your bike with a clip on-mount and rubber band that loops around your seatpost. (The clip stays attached to the bike when you remove the light to change it.)
It packs a 950mAh battery inside for a claimed 3 hour run time on its maximum output Biomotion mode. There is also a less bright Group ride mode that still includes the biomotion function at a reduced intensity level for 6 hours of lighting. A Daytime mode using just the conventional rear0-facing light brings it up to 12hr on a single charge, or even a max of 200hr on low-power Eco mode, which is automatically switched on once you’re almost out of juice.
The Flock Light also gets a simple 6-LED Flight Time indicator gauge on top that shows remaining battery life so you are less likely to get caught out with a dead taillight on the ride home in the dark. The taillight is USB-C rechargeable (in 3hr), with the clip-on mount doubling as a seal for the charging port when installed.
Flock Light biomotion taillight – Pricing & availability
The Project Flock, Flock Light is available for pre-order backing on Kickstarter now, starting at A$102 for early bird supporters (~US$72 / 70€) not including tax or shipping. Final retail price is expected to be A$120 (~US$84 / 83€).
It’s still going to be quite a while until you get one of these innovative taillights in hand, though. Flock has already exceeded their funding goal in the first few hours of their crowdfunding campaign, but is only expected to ramp up tooling and then manufacturing from the start of next year. Back the project now, and expect a Flock Light taillight around September-October of 2023.