Thanks to the design of an innovative jacket by a Middlesex University student in the UK, cyclists will be seen in the dark when giving hand signals.
The jacket has amber LEDs in the arms which are activated by a tilt switch behind the elbow. These light up when the arm is lifted, indicating the cyclist is about to turn.
An accelerometer that senses movement to change the colour of the LEDs from green when accelerating, to red when braking, is in the back of the jacket.
According to the UK Department of Transport, cycling fatalities increased by 10 percent in 2005 to 148 deaths. Michael Chen the designer of the Reactiv jacket hopes to make cycling much safer as the cyclist will be able to communicate their intentions to other travelers thus hopefully reducing the 20,000 incidents involving cyclists on London's roads every year.
Michael received the James Dyson Award for 2008. The British judges were impressed by the simplicity and effectiveness of the design. IDTechEx believes that OLEDs or ac electroluminescent displays will, in due course, be a better solution for applications like these because large areas will be illuminated.
For more attend Printed Electronics USA 2008.
Top image: Daily Mail
References: James Dyson Foundation, Department of Transport