Commuter X4 bike light helps drivers judge distance and width of cyclists
By Simon Crisp April 10, 2014
The straps of the Commuter X4 act as additional focal points, making it easier for drivers to judge a wearer's distance, width and speed
When Ed Ward was knocked off his bike and into a busy London junction, he was determined it wouldn't happen again. But, rather than give up cycling, he set out to improve bike safety lights. His latest creation, the Commuter X4, is a wearable, fiber optic rear bike light designed to help drivers spot cyclists, as well as judge their distance, width and speed.
The Commuter X4 consists of a central LED light and four fiber optic light guide strapsEven when turned off, the straps of the Commuter X4 are highly reflectiveThe Commuter X4 features multiple flash and fade settingsThe height at which the Commuter X4 is worn means cyclists will remain visible, even to el...View all
Currently vying for funding on Kickstarter, the Commuter X4 is a durable and water-resistant bike safety light which can be worn on the back or around a backpack, and consists of a central LED light and four fiber optic light guide straps. A series of popper fastenings and D-rings line the inside of the straps and mean it can be easily adjusted to fit backpacks up to 35 liters.
Inventor Ed Ward – who after six years of cycling in London unfortunately knows a thing or two about being knocked off a bike – says the design has a number of advantages over traditional single rear lights which can be easily obscured and don't make it easy for drivers to tell exactly where a cyclist is, or how fast they are traveling.
Ward says the position at which the Commuter X4 is worn means it's more likely to remain visible, even to elevated truck drivers who can find it difficult to see seatpost lights. He also says the fiber optic straps act as additional focal points, making it easier for drivers to judge a wearer's distance, width and speed than those using a single rear light. The straps also allow drivers to notice a cyclist's side profile at junctions.
The Commuter X4 consists of a central LED light and four fiber optic light guide straps
The device – which recently took second place in the British Inventors' Project at Gadget Show Live, in the UK – can be charged by USB and should last for four hours on full power, or 15 hours in a power-saving mode. There are multiple flash and fade settings, and the central light and fiber optics can be controlled independently, allowing you to have either, or both, on. Even when turned off, the straps are highly reflective.
Through his firm Veglo, Ward is also working on a number of other bike lights which will include front, rear and helmet lights designed to keep cyclists visible to drivers even when in their blind spot.
A Kickstarter pledge of £39 (around US$65) will secure you a Commuter X4, which will start shipping in September if successful.
espejito espejito, quien hace los mejores selfies ?
SELFIE mirror takes photos and posts them to Twitter
By Stu Robarts April 10, 2014
iStrategyLabs has built a mirror that takes photos of people and then posts them to Twitte...
For those who must tear themselves away from gazing into the mirror in order to take a selfie, iStrategyLabs has come up with a solution. SELFIE is a mirror that takes a snap of the user and shares it to Twitter. It is at once a nifty implementation of technology and a humorous comment on society.
The SELFIE uses a Mac Mini to power facial recognition software and a webcamUsers stand on a vinyl floor marker, and built-in LEDs indicate when a photo is being take...An Arduino controls the LED indicator lights
The SELFIE, or "Self Enhancing Live Feed Image Engine," uses a cabinet with a two-way mirror installed on a hinged door, much like a bathroom cabinet. Users see just a plain mirror, but opening the door reveals the technological innards that power the device.
To trigger the camera, users need only stand in front of it (using a specially-placed vinyl marker on the floor for guidance) and smile. A Mac mini powers the facial recognition software, which is linked to a webcam. It was initially built using a Raspberry Pi, but the team realized that something with more power was needed for the software.
An Arduino controls the LED indicator lights
"The Mac mini uses the OpenCV facial recognition library to detect smiles, and when one is detected a serial command is sent to the Arduino to initiate the countdown sequence," iStrategy Director of Ops, Zach Saale explains to Gizmag. "It takes roughly one and a half seconds for a smile to be recognized, as we found any less than that would create false-positives."
The detection of a smile causes two vertical rows of LEDs hidden behind the mirror, which are controlled by an Arduino, to illuminate in sequence, providing the countdown and simulating a flash. According to Saale, an audio aspect is also built into the mirror using a small USB speaker to provide another cue that the photo has been taken. The subsequent shot is then automatically posted to Twitter.
The SELFIE uses a Mac Mini to power facial recognition software and a webcam
Saale points out that a great deal of less techy work was also required in order to build the SELFIE. Various acrylic and glass coatings were tested before the glass two-way mirror was decided upon as the surface that most resembled a bathroom vanity mirror. The cabinet itself was a modified IKEA medicine cabinet, which happened to be the right size. Its mirror was replaced and the internal components were installed using 3D-printed mounts.
The SELFIE took about three weeks of on-and-off work to complete, and is one of a number of experimental projects that have been carried out by iStrategyLabs. Last year, the firm created the quite clever PiePal – a device on which users turn a dial to select how many pizzas of a pre-selected type they want, and then press a button to instantly order them.
Users stand on a vinyl floor marker, and built-in LEDs indicate when a photo is being take...
CMO of iStrategyLabs DJ Saul explains that the SELFIE was conceived while the firm had been playing around with facial recognition technology, and had been keeping an eye on the "Twitter Mirror" for celebrity engagement at big events. "We started thinking about how we could create a seamless and fun experience, where the trigger would be nothing more that a smile," he says. "The SELFIE mirror helps to demonstrate what’s possible by bringing together hardware, software and a great idea."
When pressed about iStrategyLabs' stance on selfies, Saul was understandably more guarded. "I wouldn’t say we’re an advocate, but it's certainly a fascinating social phenomenon."
The video below shows the SELFIE in action.
Accidente de Horner: cuatro costillas rotas y neumotórax
El estadounidense sufrió “el probable atropello de un coche” mientras se entrenaba en Italia y está ingresado en un hospital, según informa el equipo Lampre-Mérida.
El estadounidense Chris Horner sufrió una grave caída durante el entrenamiento de este viernes que le ha producido un neumotórax en el pulmón derecho, fracturas de cuatro costillas y heridas en la cabeza que necesitaron de sutura, aunque un TAC descartó la conmoción cerebral, según informa el equipo Lampre-Merida en un comunicado. Se desconocen las causas del accidente, pero todo apunta a que “probablemente fue atropellado por un coche”
El flamante campeón de la Vuelta a España 2013 Chris Horner, sufrió un delicado accidente mientras se entrenaba en el sector de Lecce (Italia) y debió ser llevado a un centro clínico donde fue inicialmente diagnosticado con la fractura de 4 costillas y un neumotórax en el pulmón derecho.
Un TAC realizado al destacado ciclista norteamericano demostró que por fortuna no hay compromiso cerebro craneal pero hubo necesidad de suturas en diversas heridas sufridas por la violenta caída.
Todo indica que el veterano ciclista quien hace parte del equipo Lampre-Merida, al cual pertenecen los colombianos José Serpa y Winner Anacona, fue atropellado por un vehículo.
Horner ve de esta manera así, comprometida su participación en el próximo Giro de Italia (9 de mayo - 1 de junio), la primera ‘grande’ de la temporada y que contará nuevamente con abundante presencia nacional.