Sophie Ryan is online editor for the Business Herald

Smart Jacket to make for safer cycling by indicating which way rider plans to turn

A jacket with over 300 LED lights that can signal when the rider is turning could be the answer to safer cycling at night.

Vodafone has had a prototype of the Smart Jacket in New Zealand trialling the wearable tech.

The Smart Jacket connects to the cyclist's smartphone and a pre-programmed route the cyclist will be travelling can be expressed on the jacket.

The LED lights on the Smart Jacket can signal the direction the cyclist will be turning using GPS connectivity.
The LED lights on the Smart Jacket can signal the direction the cyclist will be turning using GPS connectivity.

As the cyclist approaches an intersection lights on the sleeves of the jacket illuminate, indicating to the cyclist and surrounding traffic which way they will be turning.

LED lights on the back of the jacket will light up with an arrow pointing in the direction the cyclist will be turning into as well.

The jacket has been a collaboration between Vodafone Netherlands and tech company Magic Bullet.

Vodafone NZ Consumer Director Matt Williams said the jacket showed how greater connectivity can improve cycle safety.

"The potential to connect things for good is limitless, and Smart Jacket is a great example of what's possible in a world where everything is connected," Williams said.

BMX cyclist Sarah Walker tried out the Smart Jacket with cycle safety advocate and comedian Jon Bridges.

"There's a lot happening to improve road and cycle safety and encourage people to ride more, and I think the Smart Jacket is a great idea to add to the mix," Walker said.

"There is this perceived idea that cycling is dangerous - so anything that can help take away those barriers is a good thing."

"It is exciting to know that innovations like the Smart Jacket could soon become a part of our daily lives," Bridges said.

Vodafone NZ did not know the price point or time frame to move the prototype Smart Jacket on to production, but said discussion are underway.

- NZ Herald

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