We've reported on the Laser Light Lane in the past and were very happy to report in June that there was a working prototype doing the rounds. And now the idea has won an IDEA; IDEA being the International Excellence in Design Awards.
The light lane concept is very simple: bike mounted lasers project a virtual lane either side of your bike, outlining your road space and making other road users more aware of the boundaries.
In an ideal world it'd also project a nice bike lane symbol behind you, but as you can see from the 'artist's impression' of the prototype (above), that's not quite a reality yet. But the proof of concept was enough to win the designers, Alex Tee and Evan Gant, the prestigious Gold Award, after consideration by a panel of 20 judges consisting of high-powered designers and thinkers.
“We originally conceived of LightLane while entering a design competition to win a bike,” explains co-inventor Alex Tee. “While we didn’t win the competition, it seems that we may have found a way to help cyclists commute more safely, particularly in the evening hours when visibility is low. My design partner, Evan Gant, and I are awed by this professional recognition. We hope to do it justice as we refine our prototype for commercialization.”
One juror - Jim Wicks (corporate vice president of consumer experience design at Motorola) - heaped praise on the LightLane: “The concept is fantastic and viable. A design that immediately resonates with the viewer and extends the perception of biker space beyond the bike itself. This is a great solution for increasing biker safety.”
As to when, or if, the Light Lane will be a commercial product, there's no word as yet. But the noises are very positive: "Since Alex and Evan launched their website in June, their proof-of-concept YouTube video has been viewed over 200,000 times and they literally receive hundreds of emails weekly from avid cyclists and bicycle commuters asking when the product may be purchased", says Light Lane advisory board member Brian Matt, CEO of product innovation company Altitude, Inc where the two designers are employed. "I would like nothing more than to see them realize commercial success through LightLane, because as deserving as they both are, it is consumers who will benefit most greatly from this new breed of safety device.”
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, 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.