New Australian company Fly Lites is looking for AU$95,000 (just over £50,000) to fund an idea it hopes will be a “game changer”: a combined rear light and video camera, dubbed Fly6.
“As motorists become aware they could be recorded, they behave appropriately just as they do when they see traffic or speed cameras are ahead,” says Fly Lites CEO, Andrew Hagen.
But traditional action cameras aren’t cheap, and cyclists have tended to point them forward where they are effective in recording confrontations with motorists, but not always as useful for gathering evidence against a driver who does something stupid and then drives away.
In the accompanying video, Fly6 co-creator Kingsley Fiegert tells how he was shot with a slingshot by a car passenger. In considerable pain and struggling to stay on his bike, he didn’t get the car’s number plate.
Kingsley and Andrew’s answer is a rear-facing camera built into a bright rear LED light with a retail price of AU$169 (£92).
Andrew explains that he thinks the functions and low price are what make it a “game changer”.
He says: “[It’s] a device that cyclists of all persuasions, can afford to buy at $169(AUD) as well as it appearing as if just a tail-light. Making it easy to use, intuitive (given it is already a tail-light), affordable and cyclist friendly (long battery life & protected from the elements by nano-technology) it will be widely taken up. This wide spread use will soon find motorists being held to task for altercations with cyclists.
“Media will love the video footage of incidents and run stories which will lead to more motorists becoming aware they are likely to be recorded by cyclists. They will behave accordingly, giving more space & respect to the cyclist on the road when they know they are being recorded.”
Features of the Fly6 include:
Over on Kickstarter, you can reserve a Fly6 by pledging AU$119 plus $15 for shipping outside Australia.
Here’s what Kingsley and Andrew have to say about it:
And here's their TV 'ad' for it:
We think this is the first rear-facing camdera to be combined with a rear light, but Cerevellum Hindsight provides a rear view from the handlebars as well as recording whjat's happening.
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.