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The Laser – keeping you safe, Sci-Fi style

Hoxton, we have a problem...

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?

Dave is a founding father of, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

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