I have always been keen at prototyping; as soon as I can I like to start making physical representations of what’s running through my head. In this case I was researching into how cyclists (especially urban commuters) can be seen while cycling home at night. As it turns out a vast amount of road accidents are caused by cyclists not being seen. The most common reason for this is due to the cars not knowing where the bike is and also from not having knowledge of the cyclist’s intentions. From the information I gained I decided to quickly mock up a working prototype of a Glove indicator.
This prototype functions as a bike indicator that alerts road drivers to not only the bikes presence but also its intentions. The device is activated when the user touched there index finger and there thumb together, this interaction is possible due to the electronic circuitry that is installed. Within the gloves index finger there is a small magnet and within the gloves thumb compartment there is a reed switch. A reed switch works by becoming active when it is introduced into a magnetic field, so by installing electronics like this the glove becomes active only when the two “fingers” are touched.
I constructed this prototype and then presented it to a class of my peers. The feedback I got was very much expected, mostly comments about how it would be powered. The prototype was powered by a 9v battery which was rather large and so could not be very well hidden within the glove. I have an idea of possibility installing a small battery that it constantly charged by a fitted bike dynamo, but we will see in my next prototype.
I intend to further develop this concept as I believe it could pose very useful to a large market. I intend the device to work as when the user touched the left hand fingers together arrows will flow down there left arm indication to their intention to turn left, the same will happen when the user activate the right glove although the indication will be to the right. I intend to also install a feature that allows the use to touch both finger sets together at once signalling that then cyclist intends to slow, this will be displayed as a large slowing sign on the users back.