Lumos//Kickstarter
Lumos//Kickstarter

This Light-Up Bike Helmet Helps Keep Cyclists Safe at Night

Lumos//Kickstarter
Lumos//Kickstarter

Night rides can be dangerous for cyclists, even if their bikes have lights and reflectors. To stay safe on dark roads, Mashable reports that two engineers have designed a smart helmet called Lumos, complete with a red brake light and yellow turn signals.

Lumos comes with a small, wireless remote, which riders clip onto their bike’s handlebar and use to control the lights. It also has an accelerometer, which switches on the brake lights when cyclists make a rapid stop. The helmet and remote are both battery-powered, so an accompanying iOS app keeps tabs on how much juice they have, and notifies you when to charge them. (An Android version of the app is reportedly on the horizon.)

The helmet’s designers, Jeff Chen and Ding Eu-wen, raised funds to make the helmet with a Kickstarter campaign. The project is now fully funded, but Lumos isn’t ready for the open road quite yet; beta testers are still providing feedback on its fit and design, and Chen and Eu-wen are tinkering with the accelerometer. They’re also contemplating adding a ride tracker to collect activity data.

You can keep tabs on the helmet's status by visiting their website, where a limited first-edition version is currently available for pre-order, starting at $170. In the meantime, learn how it works by watching the video below.

[h/t Mashable]

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George Barratt-Jones, Vimeo
This Crafty Bicycle Can Knit a Scarf in 5 Minutes
George Barratt-Jones, Vimeo
George Barratt-Jones, Vimeo

Knitting can be a time-consuming, meticulous task, but it doesn’t need to be. At least not if you’re George Barratt-Jones. As The Morning News spotted, the Dutch designer recently created a human-powered automated knitting machine that can make a scarf while you wait for your train to arrive.

The Cyclo-Knitter is essentially a bicycle-powered loom. As you pedal a stationary bike, the spinning front wheel powers a knitting machine placed on top of a wooden tower. The freshly knitted fabric descends from the top of the tower as the machine works, lowering your brand-new scarf.

Cyclo Knitter by George Barratt-Jones from George Barratt-Jones on Vimeo.

“Imagine it’s the midst of winter,” Barratt-Jones, who founded an online skill-sharing platform called Kraftz, writes of the product on Imgur. “You are cold and bored waiting for your train at the station. This pedal powered machine gets you warm by moving, you are making something while you wait, and in the end, you are left with a free scarf!”

Seems like a pretty good use of your commute down-time, right?

If you're a fan of more traditional knitting methods, check out these knitting projects that can put your needles to work, no bicycle required.

[h/t The Morning News]

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iStock
Netherlands Officials Want to Pay Residents to Bike to Work
iStock
iStock

Thinking about relocating to the Netherlands? You might also want to bring a bike. Government officials are looking to compensate residents for helping solve their traffic congestion problem and they want businesses to pay residents to bike to work, as The Independent reports.

Owing to automobile logjams on roadways that keep drivers stuck in their cars and cost the economy billions of euros annually, Dutch deputy infrastructure minister Stientje van Veldhoven recently told media that she's endorsing a program that would pay employees 19 cents for every kilometer (0.6 miles) they bike to work.

That doesn't sound like very much, but perhaps citizens who need to trek several miles each way would appreciate the cumulative boost in their weekly paychecks. For employers, the benefit would be a healthier workforce that might take fewer sick days and reduce parking needs.

Veldhoven says she also plans on designing a program that would assist employers in supplying workers with bicycles. The goal is to have 200,000 people opting for manual transportation over cars. If the program proceeds, it might find a receptive population. The Netherlands is already home to 22.5 million bikes, more than the 17.1 million people living there. In Amsterdam, a quarter of residents bike to work.

There's no timeline for implementing the pay-to-bike plan, but early trial studies indicate that the expense might not have to be a long-term prospect. Study subjects continued to bike to work even after the financial rewards stopped.

[h/t The Independent]

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