The Reactiv cycle jacket, designed by UK based design student Michael Chen has just been awarded the winner of the 2008 James Dyson Award. The jacket is fitted with LEDs on the back and uses an accelerometer to sense movement, changing the colour of the lights from green when accelerating to red when braking.
A tilt switch in the arms of the jacket activates LEDs in the arm that flash amber when the rider lifts their arm to indicate a turn.
Michael said: “I cycled round London for hours in the dark wearing my first prototype - a £10 waterproof jacket with LEDs stuck on by gaffer tape. For the first time, I noticed that cars passed me more slowly, gave me more room, and that the drivers and passengers were even making eye contact.”
The Reactiv jaket will go into production and be available to buy soon, to see a video clip of the jacket in action go to the YouTube clip.
Other cycling-related designs were also considered for the award; they included the Canadian entry to the awards, a Single Handed Bike Brake Lever (SHBBL), a system designed for those with physical disabilities which allows both brakes to be applied with one lever.
Switzerland’s LOC+ entry was a design combining a bicycle lock and a front/rear light.