Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 29th, 2011 at 10:56 am
One glaring way that bicycles lack the same presence on the roadway as cars is in their lack of adequate lighting systems. In particular, bicycles don't come equipped with one of the most basic and important lights that cars have — turn signals.
Portlander Jack O'Neal hopes to change that.
O'Neal, 32, is an Afghanistan war veteran who is currently attending Portland State University to get a degree in mechanical engineering. He has developed a cycling accessory called "YouTurn," which fits on your hand and automatically displays a large yellow arrow in the direction you want to turn. The device is motion-activated (it uses technology from smartphones) and works when the rider puts out their hand to signal a turn.
Fed up with he saw as a "void in the cycle light industry," O'Neal says his invention has potential because it does more than a standard bike light and it's less bulky and cumbersome than other bike turn signal lights that have come on the market.
O'Neal has developed a working prototype (see it in the video below), and now he's looking for help to finish the design and engineering required to bring the product to market. He has launched a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of raising $50,000 by September 24th.
Check out his Kickstarter page for more info and to back this project.