The idea for Revolights came to inventor Kent Frankovich as he rode his bike in the dark, and wondered why the headlight — meant to illuminate the path he was cycling on — was so far away from the ground. His research led him to some gruesome statistics revealing that the majority of nighttime bike-car collisions are due to cyclists’ inadequate side visibility, as well as drivers’ inability to recognize bicycles on the road. This pointed to a need for “a single product that combines path illumination and effective, unique signaling (I am a bike) to shared road traffic” with the aim of significantly increasing biker safety.
Frankovich and his team have been developing a prototype that consists of two hoops containing LEDs, that clip onto bicycle rims. The lights blink on and off at a rate controlled by the speed of the cyclist, and are powered by lithium-ion battery packs mounted to the hub. The effect is that front half of the front wheel and rear half of the rear wheel are illuminated, which projects light both in front, behind and to the side, increasing visibility for the cyclist while making them visible to others on the road. The project was launched on Kickstarter in August, where it quickly exceeded its funding target of USD 43,500 by over USD 160,000. Revolights hopes that the product will be available by the end of the year, at a suggested price of USD 220.
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