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The Beacon Helmet beams laser-projected images, has indicators and even has built-in speakers: is this the ultimate urban lid?

A Kickstarter campaign has started today for the Beacon Helmet with a £60,000 funding goal, with the project born of UK-based inventor Jeff Zhang's vision to "make cycling much safer". 

It projects lasers either side of the cyclist and also in front of them to give drivers prior warning when a bike is approaching a junction. Beacon Helmet say the main issue it addresses is blind-spot accidents, by projecting a laser image 5-12 metres in front of the cyclist so they're visible even in the blind spot of lorries and buses when turning. They also say it could help to prevent pedestrians stepping into cyclists' path from behind parked cars. 

 

beacon helmet.png

beacon helmet.png

The Beacon Helmet also encourages drivers to leave a safe distance when overtaking by placing the side beams over a meter out either side. As well as the front and side lasers, the helmet has indictator lights, an extra large indicator button, a brake light that automatically comes on when it detects deceleration, and front and rear LED's. It's even got built-in speakers that can be used for turn-by-turn navigation in conjunction with third-party apps, or playing music - though Beacon Helmet don't recommend distracting yourself by blasting out the tunes in heavy traffic. It's USB rechargeable with an estimated battery life of 3-5 hours, and weighs 400g. 

The price is £249 on Beacon Helmet's website, with pre-orders already being taken. If you want to stay updated on the funding campaign, head over to their Kickstarter page

 

 

After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since.  He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake. 

50 comments

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CygnusX1 [582 posts] 1 month ago
10 likes

* Grabs popcorn and waits *

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FluffyKittenofT... [1855 posts] 1 month ago
13 likes

This is far too funny to get annoyed about.
Does it mean though, that every time you turn your head towards a driver or pedestrian you are likely to zap them in the retina with a laser?

('cos if so, maybe I want one after all)

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RobD [531 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

I like the idea of being able to project a lane type light at the side of the bike (wouldn't want it on a helmet though) it might help as a suggestion to car drivers as to what the minimum distance should be.

I don't really see how this is going to work that well though, turn your head to check over your shoulder and you're shining a laser all over the place no?

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Peowpeowpeowlasers [536 posts] 1 month ago
29 likes

I have this vision of the cyclist wearing this being chased by a load of cats going mental trying to get the green dots.

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Edgeley [493 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

I rather like the idea of painting a line on the road to encourage drivers to stay on the outside of it.   But shouldn't the laser be mounted on the bike rather than a helmet unless you are encouraged not to move your head?

 

And as ever, there is the danger that cyclists who aren't wearing the full armour are seen as some how authors of their own demise, and that some drivers won't notice people who aren't lasered up.

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StraelGuy [1074 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:

I have this vision of the cyclist wearing this being chased by a load of cats going mental trying to get the green dots.

 

Bwahahaha, post of the week yes .

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Grahamd [723 posts] 1 month ago
7 likes
Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:

I have this vision of the cyclist wearing this being chased by a load of cats going mental trying to get the green dots.

Could be even more Benny Hill if the dogs chased the cats ...

 

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BarryBianchi [419 posts] 1 month ago
6 likes
Grahamd wrote:

[

Could be even more Benny Hill if the dogs chased the cats ...

 

wearing little frilly knickers and mini skirts, followed by a small bald bloke.  We've all been there....

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leaway2 [78 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

driver, "Blo*** hell, what's that in the road?" Crash. Also not to be worn near airports.

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Goldfever4 [378 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Absolutely stupid idea, turn your head and nail everyone in the eye with a laser beam. Next!

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Flying Scot [1005 posts] 1 month ago
6 likes

More cheese Gromit?

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Edsonytic [7 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
RobD wrote:

I like the idea of being able to project a lane type light at the side of the bike (wouldn't want it on a helmet though) it might help as a suggestion to car drivers as to what the minimum distance should be.

Edgeley wrote:

I rather like the idea of painting a line on the road to encourage drivers to stay on the outside of it.   But shouldn't the laser be mounted on the bike rather than a helmet unless you are encouraged not to move your head?

I used a laser-equiped back light for some time (https://www.amazon.com.mx/gp/product/B071NDZHY4/).
Unfortunately the lasers on it are projected just a few cm wider than the bike itself. It meant that even though most drivers did leave more space, some others passed me just by the edge of the light and thus very close to hitting me.
That's a similar experince to what some report on narrow paint-only cycle lanes.

This helmet does seem to provide a greater buffer area around the cyclist but I agree it would probably have issues with any head movement.

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BeaconHelmet [6 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

This is far too funny to get annoyed about. Does it mean though, that every time you turn your head towards a driver or pedestrian you are likely to zap them in the retina with a laser? ('cos if so, maybe I want one after all)

If you watch the video carefully, the laser is only turned on when you speed is above a certain threshold. when cycling at high speed, head movement is both rare and quick, and therefore laser distraction is very low. 

Avatar
BeaconHelmet [6 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

This is far too funny to get annoyed about. Does it mean though, that every time you turn your head towards a driver or pedestrian you are likely to zap them in the retina with a laser? ('cos if so, maybe I want one after all)

 

Also the lasers are certified to be safe and won't burn anything. Look at all the London public bike, they are all installed with a similar laser light. 

Avatar
BeaconHelmet [6 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
RobD wrote:

I like the idea of being able to project a lane type light at the side of the bike (wouldn't want it on a helmet though) it might help as a suggestion to car drivers as to what the minimum distance should be.

I don't really see how this is going to work that well though, turn your head to check over your shoulder and you're shining a laser all over the place no?

 

Hi Rob, 

 Your concern is dressed :  the laser is only turned on when you speed is above a certain threshold (set at phone app). when cycling at high speed, head movement is both rare and quick, and therefore laser distraction is very low. 

Avatar
BeaconHelmet [6 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Goldfever4 wrote:

Absolutely stupid idea, turn your head and nail everyone in the eye with a laser beam. Next!

Hi, just to clarify

the laser is only turned on when you speed is above a certain threshold. when cycling at high speed, head movement is both rare and quick, and therefore laser distraction is very low. 

Avatar
BeaconHelmet [6 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Edsonytic wrote:
RobD wrote:

I like the idea of being able to project a lane type light at the side of the bike (wouldn't want it on a helmet though) it might help as a suggestion to car drivers as to what the minimum distance should be.

Edgeley wrote:

I rather like the idea of painting a line on the road to encourage drivers to stay on the outside of it.   But shouldn't the laser be mounted on the bike rather than a helmet unless you are encouraged not to move your head?

I used a laser-equiped back light for some time (https://www.amazon.com.mx/gp/product/B071NDZHY4/).
Unfortunately the lasers on it are projected just a few cm wider than the bike itself. It meant that even though most drivers did leave more space, some others passed me just by the edge of the light and thus very close to hitting me.
That's a similar experince to what some report on narrow paint-only cycle lanes.

This helmet does seem to provide a greater buffer area around the cyclist but I agree it would probably have issues with any head movement.

 

To address your concern, the laser is only turned on when you speed is above a certain threshold. when cycling at high speed, head movement is both rare and quick, and therefore laser distraction is very low. 

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cyclisto [307 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

I guess if you put some crusty bacon on your helmet you will receive less attention than with this beacon helmet.

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50kcommute [90 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Ban lasers on the road IMO ... At any speed

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DoctorFish [70 posts] 1 month ago
11 likes
BeaconHelmet wrote:
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

This is far too funny to get annoyed about. Does it mean though, that every time you turn your head towards a driver or pedestrian you are likely to zap them in the retina with a laser? ('cos if so, maybe I want one after all)

 

Also the lasers are certified to be safe and won't burn anything. Look at all the London public bike, they are all installed with a similar laser light. 

 

Shame.  I'd consider buying one if it had a "kill" setting, or at least a "burn a mark in your car" setting.

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leqin [216 posts] 1 month ago
12 likes

can I have the one with phasers and photon torpeoes... a lazer just doesn't cut it.

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brooksby [2646 posts] 1 month ago
9 likes

"I want sharks. Sharks with frickin' lasers on their heads!"

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hsiaolc [367 posts] 1 month ago
6 likes

It should be banned.  

It creats danger for the other cyclists when you see green laser graphics dancing left and right of you and can cause you to try to doge them and in turn maybe cause accidents. 

On a bike is already not the best solution but on a helmet is just plain daft. 

I look over my shoulder even when I am traveling at full speed especially knowingly racing with other cyclists or even just to check if any cars behind me while over taking and I will be beaming the laser at people in the car or whoever is in the path of my gaze. 

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reliablemeatloaf [99 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Once again the onus is on cyclists to provide for their own protection, while drivers get a pass.

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alansmurphy [1039 posts] 1 month ago
6 likes

I've heard:

The laser is only turned on when you speed is above a certain threshold. when cycling at high speed, head movement is both rare and quick, and therefore laser distraction is very low.

But I'm not sure how true it is, if only a company rep was reading and could clarify...

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burtthebike [1188 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

When I read the headline, I thought "at last, parity between drivers and cyclists."  The drivers have a ton of metal and plastic that can kill, and cyclists should be equipped with lasers to slice cars, and their occupants, in half; balance!

To be serious for a moment, self preservation is extremely powerful, and if drivers thought that you could slice them up with a laser, they would give you much more respect.  Of course it all falls down because the laser, which as far as I know hasn't killed anyone, would be banned, while cars, which kill thousands every year, is entirely legal, and you don't even have to pay attention while you drive, even though a moment's inattention could result in death.  How many times have drivers escaped conviction because they said they didn't see someone, a clear admission that they weren't looking and weren't driving carefully.

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Altimis [57 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes

"weighs 400g."

 

Are you fuking kidding me? there no way I would wear that shiz tons of heavy stone on atop of my head.

NO thanks.

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brooksby [2646 posts] 1 month ago
7 likes
Altimis wrote:

"weighs 400g."

 

Are you fuking kidding me? there no way I would wear that shiz tons of heavy stone on atop of my head.

NO thanks.

Personally, I found the £249 price tag way more disturbing...

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Goldfever4 [378 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes
BeaconHelmet wrote:
Goldfever4 wrote:

Absolutely stupid idea, turn your head and nail everyone in the eye with a laser beam. Next!

Hi, just to clarify

the laser is only turned on when you speed is above a certain threshold. when cycling at high speed, head movement is both rare and quick, and therefore laser distraction is very low. 

Speak for yourself, I personally like to check behind me no matter what speed I'm doing because I don't want to die.

Your product appears to be ridiculously flawed but more importantly dangerous and I hope one never comes anywhere near me.

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Bez [619 posts] 1 month ago
11 likes

So you need to have a phone app draining your battery while you ride? That's a quality design decision right there.

Please stop designing and making techno-trinkets like this. They slowly kill cycling. The idea that everyone should pretend to be a motor vehicle is ridiculous and just gradually marginalises what should be a hugely accessible form of transport.

Except of course that you stop with the motor vehicle comparisons by disadvising users from listening to music on the supposed grounds of distraction—yet I'm willing to bet a pile of cash that you listen to music while driving a car, or at the very least that you've never in your life suggested to a driver that they shouldn't turn the stereo on.

Proposing that people pay £250 to stick nearly half a kilo of batteries and lights on their head as some sort of amulet to defend against the people who—according to your views on music—you're happy to accept as being distracted while in charge of the sort of vehicles that stand to kill the hat-wearer, is frankly contemptible.

You're not solving anything. You're part of the problem.

http://singletrackworld.com/2015/02/bez-the-wedge/

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