While there are numerous bike-mounted gadgets that laser-project strains of light onto the street, showing motorists how much passing space they should provide, the new Tether bike laser not only works in a similar fashion, but it also senses passing vehicles in order to produce cyclist-safe road maps.
The handlebar-stem-mounted gadget was invented by British entrepreneur Omar Bakhshi, after he was sideswiped by a motorist while biking.
In order to prevent similar accidents from happening, the Tether laser-projects grids of green dots onto the road. These grids appear on either side of the front of the bicycle, letting drivers know to stay at least that far away from the bike while passing. Moreover, the laser is also equipped with front, left- and right-side proximity sensors that can detect passing vehicles up to a range of 2.5 meters (8.2 ft), automatically triggering the lasers to start flashing if the vehicles get any closer. The cyclist can also set the flashing threshold to a closer distance.
Additionally, every time a passing vehicle is detected, the Tether will wirelessly transmit the GPS coordinates and the passing distance to an accompanying app on the cyclist’s smartphone.
At the end of each ride, that data is transmitted to the cloud, so it can be combined with data from other Tether users to create cycling route maps where close passes are least likely to occur, allowing the maps to be accessed by other app users.
The current Tether prototypes are weatherproof, with a claimed run-time for up to six hours on one charge, while plans call for the aluminum-bodied commercial version to have a broader, more noticeable projection pattern, along with a quick-release mounting system so it can be easily taken off when the bike is left unattended.
The developers of the Tether have undertaken a crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter, offering early-backers a special price of £130 (about US$178) compared to the retail price of £150 to £200 ($250 to $274).
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