Industrial design companies PDD and Goose Design have teamed up to create a working prototype of a jacket with integrated lighting front and rear. The jacket uses a fabric made from yarns coated with Electroluminescent (EL) ink, and the lighting elements - which are almost invisible when turned off - are powered by a thin film battery and operated using a flexible switch built in to the jacket. The whole thing is washable, lightweight and flexible. EL jackets score over Fluorescent and reflective materials because they don't require a light source to be visible. Reflectives are great in the dark when cars have their headlights on, but have a blind spot around dusk when the light is failing. Obviously the system is a lot more complex, and would be expensive to produce compared to cheap reflectives, but it's certainly intersting that EL technology has come far enough for the jacket to be a viable product. For an explanation of how the EL fabrics work, Click here PPD's product information page on the jacket - named the Illum - is here
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.