The Laser – keeping you safe, Sci-Fi style

Hoxton, we have a problem...

by Dave Atkinson   June 10, 2009  

Laser lane 1

Remember the laser light lane that we featured back in January? The idea was that the laser projected a virtual bike lane behind you to keep drivers out of your space. Well, the whole concept has been taken a step further by industrial designer Leonardo Manavella: step forward a system known simply as 'The Laser'.

The Laser is a system in four parts, that you attach to the fork blades and seatstays of your bike. Each unit is recharged from a dynamo, and contains a laser projector, a horn and a proximity sensor, as well as some kind of wireless capability to talk to the other three. The four lasers project an elliptical buffer zone around the bike to make your effective size on the road a bit bigger, in a similar way to the laser light lane.

Should a car cross the line, though, it's a different story: the proximity sensors pick up the encroachment, the lasers turn red and the klaxons sound, warning you (and possibly the driver, unless they've got Heart FM on nice and loud) that there's a danger of a collision. Once the vehicle clears the danger zone, the lights turn green again and all is calm.

All sound a bit sci-fi? Well, it is: of course this doesn't actually exist except in the mind of Manavella, a mind that's also brought us the Agua H2O urine-to-fresh water converter. But could any part of the system really be useful? Obviously lasers are expensive and they'd only be useful at night, but proximity sensors are twenty to the dozen these days in the rear bumpers of cars: it'd certainly be possible to hook a few of those (and a shouty horn) up on a bike... anyone ever tried?

9 user comments

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I remember Derren Brown putting a stuffed wallet on a busy pavement, drawing a chalk circle around it, and leaving it for hours. He came back and it was untouched, so the laser circle might do it with no need for the klaxons.

posted by wild man [279 posts]
10th June 2009 - 11:08

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What stops it from going off when the cyclist verve into a car? Nevertheless interesting concept..

posted by Alankk [121 posts]
10th June 2009 - 22:02

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OMG! There's some nut RIDING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD! Surprise

neilwheel's picture

posted by neilwheel [130 posts]
11th June 2009 - 17:22

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Keep your eyes peeled for a guy called Dr.Bryan Roberts, he is working in conjunction with loguborough uni developing funky stuff...some similar to this, i met him at a business seminar earlier this week and some of the kit he is working on is very fancy.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1080 posts]
12th June 2009 - 2:05

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I think this system would be better with a proximity detector and a vest that glowed and changed colour not a laser marker. A driver might not be able to see the floor markings plus it would make the driver more aware of your actual presence?
Plus I think the horns would be more frightening to the cyclist than the motorist. You could probably knock out a tune in rush hour traffic?

It's not just about the size of your cog.

TRs Blurb n Blog's picture

posted by TRs Blurb n Blog [270 posts]
12th June 2009 - 11:01

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Something like this…

There's a story here http://road.cc/content/news/318-video-vest-displays-your-speed

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4135 posts]
12th June 2009 - 11:53

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I liked this idea, but thought the speed sould be on the front too. The people I have trouble with are the ones coming the other way who then turn right across my path totally mis judging my speed.

Ian Crook's picture

posted by Ian Crook [16 posts]
12th June 2009 - 14:37

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er yeah, but with a proximity sensor, and without the speed showing, and the light changing from green to red if you are too close or approaching to fast. Apart from that, exactly the same as a vest with a light on it.

It's not just about the size of your cog.

TRs Blurb n Blog's picture

posted by TRs Blurb n Blog [270 posts]
12th June 2009 - 15:42

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so picky

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4135 posts]
12th June 2009 - 15:46

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