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-   -   The laser light that could cut cyclist deaths - CNN story (http://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-safety/913281-laser-light-could-cut-cyclist-deaths-cnn-story.html)

rumrunn6 09-16-13 11:05 AM

The laser light that could cut cyclist deaths - CNN story
 
http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/13/tech/t...html?hpt=hp_c4

excerpt:

"Invented by a UK design student, Blaze is a detachable lamp that projects a laser image five meters in front of your bicycle to let motorists, bus drivers and pedestrians know you are coming."

genec 09-16-13 11:10 AM

Uh, how about just a nice bright headlight... and follow the KISS principle.

howsteepisit 09-16-13 11:28 AM

I doubt that many more motorists would look at the road before they turn than look in their mirrors, For left turns, if you cannot see a cyclist why would you see a cyclist projected onto the road surface? My bet is that this would do virtually nothing to the rate of right and left hooks, which is what it appears to target.

mrodgers 09-16-13 11:56 AM

How many people can actually see the road (shoulder) surface on the passenger side of the vehicle? This would be utterly useless.

ItsJustMe 09-16-13 12:14 PM

More useless gimmicks. This is about the 4th of these we've seen in the last year. When will they figure out that motorists can't see the road surface very well?

A simple headlight works way better than this and as a side benefit, allows the rider to see where he's going too.

KonAaron Snake 09-16-13 12:18 PM

I disagree with you...I think it's brilliant, and seeing that odd green outline might give a motorist, or pedestrian, pause to see what's going on. I will likely buy one when available.

dougmc 09-16-13 12:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake (Post 16071654)
I disagree with you...I think it's brilliant, and seeing that odd green outline might give a motorist, or pedestrian, pause to see what's going on. I will likely buy one when available.

Yes, and any motorists with their car stopped and looking out their window at the laser image will think it's cool. As will the pedestrian, and other cyclists.

However, the motorist will not see the image if he's actually driving with his lights on. Remember, the FDA tends to limit unprotected lasers to 0.005 watts and asphalt/concrete/etc. doesn't reflect light very well. An adequate headlight will use 1.000 watts, and a good headlight will use 3.000 to 10.000 watts.

They did improve on the previously seen designs by using a green laser -- that'll be a good deal more visible than the red ones used by the "portable bike lane" lights. But the color change isn't enough to fix the "not anywhere near enough light" problem.

If you're looking for a light to give pedestrians and stopped motorists pause ... this is it. (Though a Monkeylight or something similar will make them pause even better.)

If you're looking for a light to help you see and help you be seen ... get a normal headlight.

KonAaron Snake 09-16-13 12:48 PM

I have a normal headlight, in fact I have two...appreciate the concern. I'm looking forward to seeing how this works in real conditions, I think it's a potentially great aid and poo pooing prematurely is typically A-S. "Oh no, I have to pay money for it, which I shouldn't have to do anyway, and it's not 100% perfect for every foreseeable event, and it's the driver's fault...and if we just got rid of all cars, and made them bow to us like they should..."

dougmc 09-16-13 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake (Post 16071822)
I have a normal headlight, in fact I have two...appreciate the concern. I'm looking forward to seeing how this works in real conditions

Your normal headlights, probably putting out at least 200x the light, will probably drown it out.

ItsJustMe 09-16-13 01:05 PM

It's not that I don't think it'll cover every situation, it's that I don't think it'll cover ANY situation. I'd be perfectly willing to pay plenty if I thought it had any chance at working.

It's a pretty big red light though that the photos are clearly photoshopped, unless that thing has a laser that's many, many times more powerful than is legal in the US. Lasers that are allowed for unlicensed, open air use can not exceed 5 milliwatts. If that photo isn't photoshoped, it looks more like maybe a few hundred milliwatts.

timvan_78 09-16-13 01:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake (Post 16071822)
...and if we just got rid of all cars, and made them bow to us like they should...

Yeah, I'm good with that too.

KonAaron Snake 09-16-13 01:09 PM

Let's wait to see how it works first.

rm -rf 09-16-13 01:24 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I post this photo every six months or so, when yet another laser light is posted. A laser projecting an image on the ground doesn't help the rider see the road, either.

And this is an old Dinotte light. The new headlights are way brighter.
http://www.dinottelighting.com/images/photographyk.jpg

dougmc 09-16-13 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ItsJustMe (Post 16071880)
It's a pretty big red light though that the photos are clearly photoshopped

Not necessarily.

Note that the area that the light is shining on is quite dark, so the camera can pick it up clearly. Also note that the angle of incidence between the light, pavement and camera seems to be such that would maximize the light making it to the camera. The background does seem quite bright, but maybe it's not as bright as it looks.

Though this picture may very well be of a prototype that is far brighter than is legal.

I'd certainly not suggest being the first to buy such a product. Wait until somebody else does, then see it in person, in real world conditions, and make your own decision.

no1mad 09-16-13 01:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ItsJustMe (Post 16071636)
More useless gimmicks. This is about the 4th of these we've seen in the last year. When will they figure out that motorists can't see the road surface very well?

A simple headlight works way better than this and as a side benefit, allows the rider to see where he's going too.

Seems we have similar thought processes- http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...9#post16071469.

I'd rather see more put into R & D for asymmetrical beam patterns for road use than cheesy lasers that (probably) get washed out by a ~500 lumen light.

Juha 09-16-13 01:42 PM

Laser light that cuts... I was thinking a Death Star class laser.

Chris516 09-16-13 08:02 PM

I will stick with my MiNewt 600.

Gallo 09-16-13 09:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake (Post 16071654)
I disagree with you...I think it's brilliant, and seeing that odd green outline might give a motorist, or pedestrian, pause to see what's going on. I will likely buy one when available.

I agree I think it is awesome like a blinky in the front

unterhausen 09-16-13 09:08 PM

I want a laser light the projects a message on the motorist's windshield. Who cares about the ground?

iflabs 09-16-13 09:44 PM

Huge beaming light seems more effective.

jputnam 09-17-13 12:05 AM

Green is a legally-reserved color in many jurisdictions. Maybe not quite as much of an invitation to police attention as a blue light, but not a legal headlight in many places if you're in an accident.

subwoofer 09-17-13 03:15 AM

I fully support looking for ways to help reduce accidents, but unfortunately I think this laser light will be next to useless. If the car driver doesn't see a person on a bike (usually wearing some high-vis and with a normal headlight), why would they see a green picture of a bike on the road surface?

Fail.

The only way a car driver will see you is if you force them too, and this means bright flashing lights. Unfortunately to be visible to the moron who is not looking means blinding most of the other good drivers. How do we find the balance?

ItsJustMe 09-17-13 06:14 AM

Even if this product is useful, it'll only be so in places where cars are going fairly slowly, like < 30 MPH. At the speeds of the cars that I ride around (50 to 60 MPH) they'll have hit me before they get a chance to notice the funny squiggle on the ground. I ride with head and tail lights that are clearly visible to even distracted drivers from half a mile away.

subwoofer 09-17-13 07:21 AM

Since posting in the thread I've had more of a look into the 'Blaze' company and see a great deal of activity, news features and apparently funding and support from 'innovators' and 'entrepreneurs'.

Sadly I still think it will be a flop as I expect it to retail at a price far higher than most riders will spend and as it appears to have a built in battery which you can't swap out so your runtime is limited.

The one handed removable mount also doesn't look up to much, so if you have any bumpy bits to negotiate it might pop off.

They say it will be out this autumn, so I will be interested to see the price point and more details of the mount.

dynodonn 09-17-13 07:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by genec (Post 16071355)
Uh, how about just a nice bright headlight... and follow the KISS principle.

+1

I have received a lot of comments from both motorists and peds on my headlight setup, plus I can see where I'm going as well. ;)


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