SafeKEYPER folds in a seat belt cutter into your key carrier

SafeKeyperThe explosion of panic that comes when a car careens off the road and into a body of water is paralyzing. With only 10 – 20 seconds to act, SafeKEYPER could be lifesaving.  The key ring doubles as a small emergency device, giving quick thinking drivers a tool that is literally at their fingertips to cut their seatbelt, break out a car window, and swim to safety. This is a great idea in theory, but it’s questionable that a panicking person would actually remember it when it’s never been used before. It’s also questionable that a woman would have the strength to break the car window, and how effective the seatbelt cutter will be if there is a baby in the backseat. Nevertheless, backers can get one product for $27 with an expected delivery of January 2015.

Connected Objects Cycling Safety Sensors/IoT

App-enabled Skylock uses solar power to let would-be bike thieves see the light

The Premise. Bike locks are relatively unrefined. One needs to simply trust in the strength of their lock to protect them from thieves. Given enough time and opportunity, however, thieves can break into the strongest of locks unbeknownst to the owner. 

The Product. Skylock is an incredibly sophisticated solar-powered U-lock for your bicycle. It connects to your mobile phone and lets the owner know if their lock is being tampered with. This super-lock provides keyless entry and key sharing for multiple riders via Bluetooth as well as a GPS locator. When a crash or accident occurs, the lock sends a signal to your phone that gives you the option to either say that you’re uninjured or call for help from family, friends and even the authorities. This product is also functional, using a dual-locking mechanism for maximum security. If the bike should run out of battery, it won’t let the user lock the bike until recharged. The lock can also be charged externally by micro USB if sunlight is unavailable.

The Pitch. So far, Skylock has received tons of praise from the press which its campaign features. The video shows the lock in action, displaying how it alerts the rider when the bike is moved, the way it springs into action after an accident has occurred, as well as how easy it is to share access to the bike. Skylock is looking to raise $15,000 in a month-long Indiegogo campaign.

The Perks. Early riders can enjoy the Skylock for $149. It’s base Indiegogo price is set at $159 while its retail price will be $249. Higher tiers offer bundles of locks for bike share programs.

The Potential. Good bike locks can be hard to find. Locks such as the HENCH bike lock offer bank-level security, but aren’t “smart”. The Lock8, a UK smart bike lock, recently ran a successfully Kickstarter campaign. This product offers keyless entry, anti-theft alarms and GPS locating services. The Skylock takes the smart lock to a new level with its bike sharing capabilities and accident panic button. For a product that will protect you and your bike, the Skylock’s price is competitive and is a great investment for any bicycle commuter or enthusiast.

Cycling Safety

Cycle Guardian alerts riders to motorist threats

The Premise. As people choose to ride their bikes more and more, car on bike accidents have been on the rise. Sometimes cars don’t realize how close they get to bikes and vice versa. Accidents like this can be deadly for the cyclist.

The Product. Cycle Guardian is a cyclist protection system. This product attaches to the seat pillar of the bike, just below the seat itself, and emits a sound when the bike is too close to a car. The sound can be just a regular tone or can be programmed to play the cyclists favorite tune. Either way, it acts as a warning for those on the road to keep a safe distance.

The Pitch. The Cycle Guardian video features a short cartoon dramatization of the product doing its job. The rest of the campaign talks about bicycle safety as well as the creator’s passion for cycling. It would be helpful to see an actual photo of the product, instead of just drawings which is all the campaign shows. This British product has a goal on Indiegogo of £30,000. 

The Perks. For the product, backers have a choice of only one tier that offers a first production-run of the Cycle Guardian at a donation of £49. This product will be available before the official product launch and is characterized as a “limited edition” product.

The Potential. Bike accidents happen all the time and are one of the few drawbacks of cycling instead of driving. Helmets can only do so much when an accident occurs, but the Cycle Guardian takes the interesting approach of attempting to prevent accidents. It is unclear from the campaign if the tone emitted will be urgent and loud enough to warn drivers who may not have their windows down. The Bright Bike system uses bright LED lights to alert drivers, which is effective, but mostly only at night, but being able to detect threats seems to be the wave of the future.