Gadget that uses laser beams. They shine in the direction of a scooter or bicycle in front of pedestrians. This politely warns pedestrians that someone is approaching from behind, which may reduce the risk of collisions.
Members of our team use scooters to travel to school on daily basis. We regularly intercept collisions on the sidewalks. In our survey, 28% of respondents stated that they also do, which confirmed the substantiality of the problem we identified. Moreover, collisions create injuries and negative emotions from fast driving. Consequently, the use of electric scooters is being limited in some cities.
The product we have developed is called Lightring. Its goal is to warn pedestrians that someone faster is approaching from behind. It does using laser beams which create light rings on the ground in front of a scooter, bicycle or even roller skates. The light ring signals to pedestrians that they have entered a path of a faster vehicle. Pedestrians can leave safely the space bordered by light rings and therefore avoid collision. It also effectively prevents pedestrians from entering the path of a faster moving scooter.
The sound of commonly used rings is annoying and can be frightening. Moreover, there is a risk that a sound signal may go unnoticed in a noisy traffic. Lightring politely warns pedestrians that someone is approaching. It also outlines the risk area, and therefore guides the direction in which pedestrians should move, which the current methods fail to do. With the risk of collisions reduced, (electric) scooters will be able to return to sidewalks. This will improve the quality of life in cities, where commuting is a well-known problem.
Development of our solution has gone through several iterations, starting from LED lights with wooden construction to visible laser on GoPro camera holder. Our final prototype is made by using a 3D printer.
Early stages of development started with a permanent on/off switch, but later we have switched to a push button, which needs to be hold during operation. This way we avoid the potential exposure to laser beams in case of accidents, and also reducing the laser emitter overheat.
During development of the solution, we have contacted different experts and received valuable feedback by:
architect Matej Siebert – suppport of alternative forms of transport is inevitable,
psychologist Peter Teličák – use of light instead of sound is more polite, green laser is more enjoyable than red,
ophthalmologist Jana Sitárová – solution is harmless to human eyes, despite of using lasers,
scooter & skates seller Jaromír Ščepka – solving production details and sale possibilites.
For our final design we propose a sale price of €9.99. According to our market research and consultation with expert, a mass production costs should not exceed €3.40. We have identified Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria as easily accessible potential markets for our product, since there operates a network of korcule.com stores which expressed interest in our product. A reasonable option is selling Lightring via online stores, such as Amazon or eBay. We shared Lightring with technology enthusiasts in Techbox magazine, the skating community on the blog of korcule.com, as well as via our facebook page and website hexadron.sk. We use our prototypes for everyday school attendance and we encounter positive reactions. Since many people show interest in our solution, we expect a considerable demand for the product after market launch.