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New safety product needs backing to go into full production

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.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

21 comments

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Gkam84 [9089 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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qwerky [184 posts] 3 years ago
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Love it, want one, pledged!

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hoski [81 posts] 3 years ago
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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'

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antonio [1126 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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Municipal Waste [240 posts] 3 years ago
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My Light & Motion already projects light onto the ground for about 20ft in front of me  3

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Mostyn [396 posts] 3 years ago
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I'd like one, providing they're re,chargeable; and not too expensive.

Hope you find a Backer for them.

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Campag_10 [153 posts] 3 years ago
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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?

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GerardR [124 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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wyadvd [128 posts] 3 years ago
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What's wrong with a properly bright headlight and decent road positioning?

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wyadvd [128 posts] 3 years ago
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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?

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PhilRuss [390 posts] 3 years ago
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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"?

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Sudor [188 posts] 3 years ago
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Cool - I want one that enables me to design/project my own image designs - hehe  4

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Gkam84 [9089 posts] 3 years ago
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Sudor wrote:

Cool - I want one that enables me to design/project my own image designs - hehe  4

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  39

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wheelsucker [58 posts] 3 years ago
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now if it was an aimable cutting laser..  19

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Gkam84 [9089 posts] 3 years ago
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Fully funded  26

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ch [188 posts] 3 years ago
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And they have a patent also.
Still, one look at her sweet face and who'd want to sue?
 3

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andyp [1460 posts] 3 years ago
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'My Light & Motion already projects light onto the ground for about 20ft in front of me
'

This. Lights FTW.

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antonio [1126 posts] 3 years ago
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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.

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Aldaron [5 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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PhilRuss [390 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
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.

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dave atkinson [6251 posts] 2 years ago
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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.

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