VibrisPro is a smart cycling glove concept that’s designed to help cyclists navigate busy streets with safety, thanks to wearable technology that provides heads-up navigation with integrated haptic guidance.
For example, by linking with the rider’s smart phone maps, VibrisPro can provide upcoming directional instruction through a series of haptic pulses located on the back of each hand, while high visibility materials and gesture activated LEDs help riders signal to other road users when making a turn.
“People experience the world around them through a complex array of sensory inputs. At Design Partners, we’re interested in how design and technology can directly influence sensory engagement for people. Using emerging technologies to create meaningful and valuable user experiences is central to what we do. The touch sense is greatly underutilized in today’s digital world. Visual and audio inputs are becoming more and more dominant in user experience, but both require heavy cognitive load to process in the human brain,” explains Cathal Loughnane, Chief Creative Officer at Design Partners.
“With VibrisPro we wanted to create a navigation experience that intuitively guides the cyclist with the minimum of distractions, keeping eyes on the road and focus on the task. We chose cycle couriers because the benefits are obvious, guided navigation while keeping eyes and ears open to the surroundings of a busy city,” she adds.
Safety Concerns from Gig Economy Riders
Food delivery companies such as Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats have boomed in the last 18 months, as a result of an increase in take-out ordering due to the pandemic. As a result, cyclists of this gig economy have increased the number of urban cyclists, making the streets much more congested.
A survey issued by University College London revealed that 41% of those who use mobile phone apps while working found that the app distracted them while cycling, while 75% indicated they had to take action in order to avoid an accident – especially at night.
Cycle Accidents in the US
Standing at almost 50 million in the United States, the number of regular cyclists increases year by year. With this, comes an increase in cycling accidents.
In 2018, 857 cyclists died in crashes with drivers, the deadliest year for cyclists since 1990. In 2019, while the total number of deaths decreased slightly to 846, New York recorded their highest number of cyclist fatalities ever.
In a study from late 2020, it was revealed that First and Second Avenue in New York were two of the most notable areas for cycling accidents.
How VibrisPro Can Help
The team at Design Partners have explored innovative ways to make cycling safer for everyone, from Sunday cyclists to delivery bike riders.
While the VibrisPro wearable technology remains a working concept at the moment, the goal is to create an end product that can help improve the safety of cyclists world-wide.
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