By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Design
Startup Revolights wants to make bicycle lighting look more like a car. With LEDs, an algorithm and some elbow grease, it may have stumbled on a clever design solution.
It's a smart idea, but all the gear can get a bit unwieldy for someone who just wants to pick up a gallon of milk before the market closes.
Startup Revolights appears to have incorporated bicycle illumination in a far more logical way than simply attaching a lamp to the front fork and seat shaft of your ride.
Instead, the company moves the glow to the wheels with a rim-mounted tube of LED lights. Connected to a small, USB-rechargeable battery mounted on the hub, the lights rotate as you ride, blinking in a sequential pattern that indicates which direction the rider is moving in.
The idea is to mark bicycles more like automobiles: bright white lights up front that project onto the street, and red rear lights in back that, instead of indicating a simple brake function, actually slow down in sequence as the bicycle does in speed.
(How, you ask? By using a small magnet installed on the bike's fork that can detect the wheel's revolutions. The data is fed into an algorithm which then translates to light changes via the electronic system in the rim.)
There's a lot to like here. Aside from the visual feedback, a system offers a nice standard for two-wheeled commuters. While the current system is merely a prototype -- it could use some strengthening to handle real-world conditions -- the next step is to abandon the battery and allow the revolutions of the bike wheels to power the device. (Revolights, indeed.)
Partially an effort to bring familiarity to bike lights, partially a way to offer smarter visual feedback to motorists and other riders about the bike's motion, it's a nice alternative that looks good, too.
Aug 19, 2011
I even have been getting a lot of helpful and informative material in your web site. http://www.national.co.uk/branch-436-High-Wycombe.aspx
my my this is simply great and just imagine how great it is going to look at the night times. http://www.national.co.uk/branch-520-Liverpool-(Prescot-Road-L7).aspx
I question the real life utility of a set of lights that are not able to work when muddy! Motorized vehicles have their lights set off the ground and even if they are dirty still operate in a fashion that allows the operator of the vehicle a certain amount of safety. Revolights on the other hand, when muddied, dirtied or otherwise dimmed may have a tendency to become unusable in the current form. What is the company doing in regards to the applications usefulness when the lights become covered for some reason by dirt or any other material which blocks them from being seen? This would be the sticking point in purchase for me. Otherwise the lights are a fantastic idea, having a similar functionality as a car is quite a revolutionary idea but one whose time has come.
I mean once mud is on the weels this lights will not be so visible... at least top mounted headlight and breake ,light are less likely to get very dirty on urban streets, but well mounted lights will...
Some people does things for fancy rather than utility and this is one such. In Developing countries bicyclists use dynamo and Red light in the back during nights to identify the path as well as caution to behind vehicles. With electrification of street lights even this is dispensed with. Revolights design something of utility value? Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India E-mail: email@example.com