When a tip about Project Aura arrived in my inbox last week, I suspected that it was just another hipster bike lighting system and the electropop soundtrack of the Vimeo teaser initially confirmed my intuition.
But lo and behold, Project Aura is actually a really good idea: rim-mounted LEDs that change colors based on how fast you ride—self-powered (by a front hub dynamo) to boot. It's the brainchild of Ethan Frier and Jonathan Ota, industrial design students at Carnegie Mellon University who admirably addressed the issue of nighttime cycling accidents with an idea and a Small Undergraduate Research Grant (SURG).
Project Aura is a bicycle lighting system designed to address the issue of nighttime urban bike commuting. The system challenges the current paradigm of bike lighting by rethinking what the purpose of a bike lighting system really is. We embedded LEDs in the rims of the bike, powered by a front hub dynamo. It was our intention to create a functional safety lighting system that riders want to use and want to be seen using it.
The two rising juniors documented the process on a Tumblog; Ethan has also wisely chosen to include the work in his Coroflot portfolio.
Great work and good luck finding internships, guys!
Speck Design partnered with Google's Schaft Robotics to create a functional skin for the Schaft robot.
Neurable, a Boston-based tech startup had a mission to bring BUI technology to everyday with groundbreaking EEG headphones to help...
Reusable, recyclable to-go food containers that replace single-use paper and Styrofoam boxes on college campuses and beyond.
Design brief: Custom-design, prototype, manufacture and deliver an updated, full store fixture package to 800 + stores across the US.
soft goods design firm, softgoods design firm, soft goods designer, softgoods designer, soft goods industrial designer, softgoods industrial designer, technical...
Routers are a pain to use; either they’re too slow, hard to use, and/or allow your IP to snoop and...
Don't have an account? Join Now
Create a Core77 Account
Already have an account? Sign In
Please enter your email and we will send an email to reset your password.
Greetings to you guys, good luck!
Thank you in advance. Extremistul@yahoo.com
when can I get those?
1. The pedal lighting would have better front and rear visibility.
2. Above comments suggest batteries might be an adequate & inexpensive power source for pedal lighting.
3. Marketing anything for which the bikes or expensive wheels have to be designed by bike and wheel manufactures could be difficult. (That not invented here thing, plus the travel budget)
4. Inexpensive lighted pedals could be a huge after market to parents for existing bikes for there children, could be handed down to sibling's bikes.
5. You could market directly to consumers and bike shops (world wide) via EBay, Amazon, etc. without having to gain acceptance from bike/wheel companies.
Low cost, rapid acceptance, speed to market, and wide adoption on existing bikes might save the most lives.
Good luck and safe riding!
The fact that the designers are trying to sell this as anything more than an aesthetic accessory is testament to one of the most fundamental mistakes a product designer can make - losing touch with the problem you're trying to solve because you've stumbled across something that looks cool. Yes, it looks cool. No doubt. Even I'd consider using them and I abhor pretty much everything fixie related. But to say that it's a safety measure as well as the indicating that you no longer need any other lights or safety gear, as shown in the movie, is pure, dangerous, fiction.
I'd say as much as there are other cheaper solutions out there, this definitely takes the cake for creativity, as well as providing a beautiful solution to approaching the problem.
That said .. the tech is very good... if he'd put it on another bike and looked less like the trendy tossers that I have to avoid on the london pedestrian streets I'd have avoided the rant...
Light emits form the side of the bicyclist, but there is nothing coming from the front to tell drivers there is a bike approaching. Perhaps some additional LEDs for the handle bar and seat post would be a considerable addition. Lights on the side won't alert people in their cars that you're coming up to stop from giving your the Door Prize.
Other than that, WHERE?? (can I get some)
Albert and Ryan, I agree that a headlight and taillight with the same color-changing functionality would be nice. Obviously, only the rear light would change to red... I wonder if someone could design a tailllight triggered by handbrakes as well?
Manu, just having a front brake is technically as safe as having both: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brakturn.html#frontorrear (Still, Brad is right in pointing out that it doesn't make as much sense on a singlespeed, as opposed to a fixed-gear, where you can adjust your speed by pedaling faster or slower... but as Sheldon says, everyone should learn to use their front brake.)
Thanks for all the feedback, I'm sure Ethan and Jonathan are very proud of their work.
This would be sweet with a front and rear light too. Would be interested to see that integrated into the lighting system since those are most common lights needed for visibility.
Other than that, great idea and beautiful execution.
Those slip rings make me sad - at least its just a prototype. The mass produced way forward would be to work with a hub generator factory to make a generator that has its power outputs on the rotor. This isn't difficult, just not particularly useful for traditional headlights.
You'd still use a headlight and taillight. This is a really well-executed project. Changing the lights to red under deceleration is an especially nice touch.
"First, is it really more dangerous to bike at dusk? Or, are there simply more bikes on the road, so the absolute number of accidents are high, but not the rate per person?"
Without more data, like how many people are riding and how far or how long they're riding, we can't make judgments on the safety or dangerousness of bicycling.
What can be said is that by improving our visibility in the dark, we increase the chances of other road users seeing us and therefore reducing the probability of being involved in a crash (not "accident").
The problem is that they only highlight the bike sideways, not worth much when the wheels go straight and for vehicles circulating in front of and behind.