How is this supposed to help? (Dumb product

OK, so this thing has gotten a lot of attention - I mean a full article on cnn.com.

And I have to wonder why? Why is this thing supposed to be better than a decent headlamp?

I mean it looks all techy and bike-tactical and stuff. But at the end of the day it doesn’t seem to alert cars to your presence. Cars ahead of you want see anything when they check the mirror, cars coming towards you won’t get any real alert unless they are looking at the ground.

Pedestrians? It says it projects 5 meters ahead of the bike which is less than a second of travel for a bike going 15mph. Not much warning.

Anyone know how this is supposed to help?

Did you look at the picture? It projects a huge glowing laser-green image of a bicycle on the ground in front of it. Based on that photo, I’d guess it’d be visible a mile away, assuming you could see the pavement. It’s certainly a ton more visible than the bike itself.

As opposed to a headlight?

And where is there a road that flat?
The thing is worse than useless as any idiot using it will think he’s visible.

It includes a headlight. Did you not read the article?

Indeed. The article shows it being used in an urban environment, where visibility lines are pretty broken. It kind of reminds me of riders who get a helmet lamp instead of a headlamp but then get tired and have their head tilted towards the ground all the time.

How is this better than a regular LED headlamp that would cost a fraction of this?

Retail price has yet to be set.

But 60 Pounds gets you one according to the kickstarter page, were it still running. I doubt the price is going down from there. That makes it a $90-100 LED headlight.

You’re sure that the unit wasn’t a freebie for helping get the project off the ground and fund prototypes?

I can’t see how this is going to be road legal in the UK - the green laser could reflect off puddles (it rains here occasionally) into the eyes of other road users

“Bike-tactical.” I like it.

This very much looks like a solution looking for a real problem, kind of like all those “new patents” that Popular Mechanics used to run on one page an issue. Each had a heavy “yeah, but…” factor.

Quite possibly, but unless this is *very *competitively priced I don’t see it being much more than a gimmick like the X-Fire taillight.

From the Kickstarter site:

Something odd is that their text says it is more powerful module than a laser pointer, then say it is a Class II laser.

Err, laser pointers tend to be Class IIIa. :confused:

FTR, we own a pair of green laser pointers. Very bright - bright enough to light up a small room by reflecting off a white ceiling - and not all that expensive.

I’ve got a 1/2 dozen myself. The key to green lasers is that the human eye sees that wavelength of light very, very well.

If the cyclist was approaching an intersection, a car approaching from the crossing direction would see the bike projected in the middle of the intersection before the cyclist comes into view, and the headlamp on the bike isn’t going to be doing much to illuminate the intersection. Granted, the odds that this is going to save any particular cyclist’s life is pretty slim; I think the cyclist would be better aided by adding more side-reflectors and (around Berkeley, at least) stopping at the damn stop signs.

Safe for the eye doesn’t necessarily mean safe for the road - there are levels of brightness below that which will damage the eye that could still be too bright for the road. Green lasers are already under threat of being banned in the UK, because of idiots shining them at planes.

Quote from the article:

“While studying I knew the problem that I wanted to tackle very clearly: sideswiping or blind spot incidents where vehicles turn across a cyclist’s path.”

So if a biker is riding alongside or slightly behind a vehicle it projects the light up where the driver might see it easier and not change lanes or turn into the bike.