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Friday, June 7, 2013

Helios – the world’s first smart bicycle headlight [Redux]


Helios is the world’s first integrated headlight and indicator system for bicycles; Bluetooth and GPS-enabled intelligent handlebars that add smart features to any bike.
Helios handlebars
Helios features
Helios handlebars cost from £130 and include all the following features:
  • Proximity Lighting allows your bike to sense your presence and automatically turn on its headlight when you’re near, and off when you’re not.
  • Indicators – rear lights can blink to indicate turns.
  • GPS Tracking – keep tabs on your bike via SMS and receive the coordinates of your bike & a Google Maps link to its location within 30 seconds
  • Visual speedo – The rear-facing LEDs change colour according to how fast you ride
  • Satnav – Use Google maps to plot a route. The rear lights indicate when a turn is approaching.
  • Ambient Lighting – Set the rear lights to any colour you want

Why aren’t bicycles sold with built-in lights?

There is no requirement for a car to have headlamps to pass an MOT or be driven legally during daylight hours, but that doesn’t stop manufacturers including them on every model they sell. They do it because they have assumed most motorists want to drive at night. So why on earth are things so different when it comes to bicycles?
Lights, mudguards and anti-theft devices have been incorporated into car design from the very earliest days of motoring, but cyclists are still waiting for these staple features.
It is possible to buy a bicycle already fitted with mudguards and lights, but in this country it’s very much the exception rather than the norm. And if these items were factory-fitted they could be incorporated into bike, which makes possible designs that are more elegant and difficult to steal than most after-market accessories.
Integrated technology in cars didn’t stop at mudguards and it’s now impossible to buy even the modest city car without airbags.
Helios bars 1
There’s no doubt that bicycle have a lot of catching up to do, but it could happen very quickly if major bike manufacturers adopted the design and technology being pioneered by Helios.

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