Blaze laser-projecting bike light looks for funding

New safety product needs backing to go into full production

by Mat Brett   November 30, 2012  

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The Blaze is a new product that, as well as being an LED front light, projects a green symbol of a cyclist onto the Tarmac ahead of you to warn other road users of your presence. The team behind the product is currently looking for backers to take the design from the prototype stage to market.

The Blaze is the idea of Emily Brooke, a product designer who came up with the concept while studying at Brighton University.

"In my final year at Brighton I gave myself the theme of urban cycling," said Emily. "It was a question of cycling around Brighton and thinking about what would help. That chap over there can’t see me, but if I was four yards ahead he could see me, so I’ll project a presence four yards ahead. I was working on it all through my final year."

By shining the green symbol out in front of you, the Blaze is intended to stop you getting caught in a blindspot and to tackle the problem of vehicles turning across your path. Countless cyclists have experienced the scenario of a car pulling up alongside them but not fully overtaking, and then the car turning left – either directly into them or right in front. Out of sight, out of mind.

The Blaze is adjustable, the idea being that you project the symbol a few metres ahead of your bike. Then, even if a motorist can’t see you, they’ll be able to see the symbol on the road so they’ll know you’re there. In that way you are increasing your visual presence on the road.

It’s also intended to stop motorists pulling out of junctions you’re just about to pass, and to warn pedestrians not to step off the kerb when you’re approaching.

We’ve reported on the Laser Light Lane in the past, which is a similar idea. It’s a rear light that shines the image of a bike lane, complete with cyclist symbol, onto the road behind you in low light conditions.

Although the finished product has yet to be made, the four-person Blaze Components team have created many working prototypes. The latest versions come in machined aluminium casings that are 110mm long and weigh less than 200g, and they’re waterproof. They use 1500mAh rechargeable lithium cells – although larger cells may be used on the final design.

You can control the LED and the green laser independently and run them each in either flashing or constant mode. The current batteries will provide six hours of life for the LED light plus the laser module on constant mode. On flashing mode they give up to 12 hours. The LEDs on the prototype give over 80 lumens of light.

Right now Blaze Components are looking for backers to launch the light. The product is up on Kickstarter, which is a funding platform for creative projects: games, art, films, technology… They’re after £25,000 by 23 December and last time we checked they were about halfway there. Kickstarter funding is all or nothing – so if pledges fall short of the 25 grand, Blaze Components get nowt. 

For more information on the Blaze, go to www.blazecomponents.com. If you want to pledge your support, head over to the Blaze Bike Light page on the Kickstarter website.

21 user comments

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Very nice idea. But I fear that I'd be chasing the green rider in front of me all the time.

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [7911 posts]
30th November 2012 - 11:56

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Love it, want one, pledged!

posted by qwerky [121 posts]
30th November 2012 - 12:15

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Gkam84 wrote:
Very nice idea. But I fear that I'd be chasing the green rider in front of me all the time.

That's a drawback? I reckon it'd give me the motivation the Thurs/Fri commute where I'm too knackered to give it my all.

It's definitely one of the better bicycle safety 'innovations'

posted by hoski [58 posts]
30th November 2012 - 12:27

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Great idea, projecting your own cycle lane line front and rear of your bike with the bike in it would be fun.

antonio

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posted by antonio [887 posts]
30th November 2012 - 12:28

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My Light & Motion already projects light onto the ground for about 20ft in front of me Wink

Municipal Waste's picture

posted by Municipal Waste [190 posts]
30th November 2012 - 18:51

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I'd like one, providing they're re,chargeable; and not too expensive.

Hope you find a Backer for them.

posted by Mostyn [387 posts]
30th November 2012 - 19:46

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It's an interesting innovation and I wish the project team well.

I'd like to see some evidence that proves the projected laser is effective. If a driver doesn't see a cyclist at eye level with lights and reflective gear what's the chance he'll see a green laser projection on the road?

posted by Campag_10 [153 posts]
30th November 2012 - 19:50

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Haven't they just taken the Laser Light Lane idea off the seat post, where it aimed rearwards, and mounted it on the handlebars to project forwards? Good idea, but it does seem a little like a blatant copy of someone else's product.

Gerard the Kiwi

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posted by GerardR [80 posts]
30th November 2012 - 20:56

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What's wrong with a properly bright headlight and decent road positioning?

posted by wyadvd [112 posts]
30th November 2012 - 22:26

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Campag_10 wrote:
It's an interesting innovation and I wish the project team well.

I'd like to see some evidence that proves the projected laser is effective. If a driver doesn't see a cyclist at eye level with lights and reflective gear what's the chance he'll see a green laser projection on the road?


What's the chance that when a driver is absolutely certain he's dealing with a cyclist he behaves like even more of an arse than otherwise?

posted by wyadvd [112 posts]
30th November 2012 - 22:46

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wyadvd wrote:
Campag_10 wrote:
It's an interesting innovation and I wish the project team well.

I'd like to see some evidence that proves the projected laser is effective. If a driver doesn't see a cyclist at eye level with lights and reflective gear what's the chance he'll see a green laser projection on the road?


What's the chance that when a driver is absolutely certain he's dealing with a cyclist he behaves like even more of an arse than otherwise?

[[[[[ Good luck to all bright ideas, but will "SMIDSY" just become "SMIDSYL"?----"Sorry, Mate, I Didn't See Your Laser"?

PhilRuss

posted by PhilRuss [208 posts]
30th November 2012 - 23:06

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Cool - I want one that enables me to design/project my own image designs - hehe Big Grin

Sudor

posted by Sudor [160 posts]
30th November 2012 - 23:30

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Sudor wrote:
Cool - I want one that enables me to design/project my own image designs - hehe Big Grin

It'll only cost you £1000.

But why wouldn't I just take an old/cheapo bike light, mount a nice green laser pointer inside, then cut out my own shape for the lens?

Only one thing, how to keep it turned on Thinking

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [7911 posts]
1st December 2012 - 5:45

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now if it was an aimable cutting laser.. Devil

lifes goal is not to arrive at the grave in a perfectly preserved body, but to skid in sideways yelling "yeah what a ride!"

posted by wheelsucker [39 posts]
1st December 2012 - 14:42

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Fully funded Nerd

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [7911 posts]
2nd December 2012 - 23:16

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And they have a patent also.
Still, one look at her sweet face and who'd want to sue?
Wink

Charlie Horse

posted by ch [80 posts]
3rd December 2012 - 7:52

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'My Light & Motion already projects light onto the ground for about 20ft in front of me
'

This. Lights FTW.

posted by andyp [616 posts]
4th December 2012 - 14:39

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wyadvd wrote:
What's wrong with a properly bright headlight and decent road positioning?

Absolutely nothing, it's just that something new and novel attracts attention, just watch fathers playing with the children's novelties on Christmas morn.

antonio

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posted by antonio [887 posts]
4th December 2012 - 19:51

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Gkam84 wrote:
Very nice idea. But I fear that I'd be chasing the green rider in front of me all the time.

Someone else might too: it looks exactly like the "cyclist go" traffic signal, and will certainly be misinterpreted as such by some riders.

Aldaron's picture

posted by Aldaron [3 posts]
23rd November 2013 - 13:38

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PhilRuss wrote:
wyadvd wrote:
Campag_10 wrote:
It's an interesting innovation and I wish the project team well.

I'd like to see some evidence that proves the projected laser is effective. If a driver doesn't see a cyclist at eye level with lights and reflective gear what's the chance he'll see a green laser projection on the road?


What's the chance that when a driver is absolutely certain he's dealing with a cyclist he behaves like even more of an arse than otherwise?

[[[[[ Good luck to all bright ideas, but will "SMIDSY" just become "SMIDSYL"?----"Sorry, Mate, I Didn't See Your Laser"?

!!!!!! Oy, Road cc.! Who's committing I.D.fraud on me? I never wrote the above comments! But, as it happens, I do like the "smidsyL" extension. Toodle-oo.
P.R.

PhilRuss

posted by PhilRuss [208 posts]
26th November 2013 - 21:58

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PhilRuss wrote:

!!!!!! Oy, Road cc.! Who's committing I.D.fraud on me? I never wrote the above comments! But, as it happens, I do like the "smidsyL" extension. Toodle-oo.
P.R.

are you sure? this story is quite old...

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [6963 posts]
26th November 2013 - 22:06

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