Velohub, a Swiss start-up based in Zürich that specialises in developing smart technology for cyclists, has launched of its first product, Blinkers. Blinkers is a new smart lighting system that makes the urban cyclist visible, predictable and respected by everyone else on the road. The smart lighting system including front, rear and laser lighting is available to buy from www.blinkers.bike with prices starting from £89/€99/$120
Cycle use has been increasing in the UK with 1.9 million people cycling every day and more people cycling at least once a week. With so many bikes and 71% riding on roads, safety is paramount as cyclists are among the most vulnerable users of the road. Using two wheels to balance, no chassis to protect them and only able to communicate by hand with other vehicles, they are often left in risky situations particularly when riding in a busy city. With cars and bikes always struggling to share the road together, the concept behind Blinkers is to allow cyclists to communicate with fellow road users more efficiently and become a more natural part of the road.
Along with communication benefits, Blinkers aims to be the next generation of bike lights by giving cyclists the ability to use extra safety functionalities including turning indicators, brake lights and laser projection with a simple remote control. With two-thirds of cyclists’ injuries or fatalities occurring at, or near, a road junction with T-junctions and roundabouts being the most commonly involved, the benefits of turning indicators is clear and a safety precaution that should prevent confusion and give all road users peace of mind.
Blinkers smart lighting works in many of the same ways that road users are already familiar with, allowing a smooth transition for all on the road. The Blinkers indicate the direction of the turn the cyclist is taking, by blinking to the right or to the left, with the rear Blinker using a red light that becomes more intense when the cyclist is braking. The laser set allows users to project half a circle on the ground, which will increase visibility during the night and to give cars a better understanding of the cyclists’ positioning on the road and the space the cyclist requires. All of these features are controlled by a wireless remote control on the handlebar of the bike to make the communication and use as simple as possible.
The lights can be charged by USB and are designed to be used for approximately 20 hours. They can be put on any bike with universal attachments on the handlebar, the saddle and the rack. Blinkers can be easily removed from the bike due to a magnetic system, so that users can take them off whenever the bike is locked or left unattended. The system works with radiofrequency and a light on the remote control indicates when the Blinkers should be charged so that cyclists will be aware of when the battery is running low.
Previously, Blinkers was on Kickstarter in June 2016 and gained support from over 500 backers, including from within the UK, raising over €50,000. The feedback from both backers and beta testers was overwhelmingly positive with one backer, Elaine, commenting: “How come this kind of product hasn’t come out before? I am so looking forward to receiving mine, roads here in the UK are everything but safe”. Beta testing of the Blinkers solution confirmed that cyclists found it easy to use and intuitive.
Electricbikereport.com also tested a pre-production model of Blinkers and though it wasn’t the finalised version, stated, “Blinkers are the best indicators I’ve tested yet. They are practical and work pretty much as you would expect.”
Since the completion of the campaign, Velohub has partnered with Zühlke Engineering and Sapetti Design studios to craft a premium quality product and improve Blinkers even further for users, in terms of functionality, durability, user-friendliness and design. After over a year of product development and negotiating with suppliers and manufacturers, Blinkers has finally hit the UK market with a full solution that aims to be the new essential piece of kit for road cyclists. It is being produced in Switzerland and in Spain (assembled in the European Union).
Blinkers are available in the 4 different packages from £89/€99/$120 for the rear light without laser, to £175/€199/$240 for a complete safety solution (the rear and front light with laser), shipping included from www.blinkers.bike.