One of the biggest problems with riding a bicycle at night, aside from the fact that it’s dangerous, is that it’s quite difficult to judge the terrain in front of you. For example, it would be quite easy to crash thanks to a pothole in the ground which was masked by a shadow.
Lumigrids is a simple and efficient solution for such problems. It’s basically a handlebar mounted LED projector that displays a square depth grid in front of your view. While bicycling, Lumigrids helps detect terrain changes directly in front of you, enabling you ample time to adjust your path and avoid potholes or other obstacles. I’ll bet paperboy sure wishes he had technology like this back in the day (you know, the old video game).
The projector includes support for three different grid sizes, all of which can be used for varying situations. A normal mode displays a smaller square grid, while a high speed mode increases the length of the grid, and a “team” mode widens the grid so that companions can also take advantage of the tech.
Of course, the setup includes other features that make bicycling at night much safer. An integrated proximity alert will notify nearby pedestrians of your presence, and there’s a single button to turn the device off and cycle through the various modes. The projector or light is even powered by the bike’s wheels thanks to an internal battery. That’s fantastic, because you never have to worry about running out of juice on the go.
The Lumigrids device was developed by researchers from the Sichuan University in China. For their effort, the team has received the Red Dot Design Award for 2012. Unfortunately, there’s no official word on whether or not the device will be mass produced commercially. Hopefully, we will see it on retail shelves soon, because I could definitely take advantage of something like this. What about you?
I wouldn’t mind looking like a Tron-obsessed geek during my bikerides late at night.