Connected Objects Cycling

SmartPedal adds smartphone-controlled turn signals, GPS tracking to your bike

One of the most hazardous parts of riding a bicycle on the same roads as car traffic is that vehicles can’t usually tell when the cyclist is planning to make a turn.

SmartPedal is a pedal featuring smartphone-controlled turn signaling that can be added to most bicycles. The pedals are connected to Android and iOS phones via Bluetooth. Once installed, users can inform surrounding traffic of their intent to make a turn via voice command or touch gesture that activates a blinking light sequence. A pair of SmartPedals cost 178 euros (~$200) and will ship in March-June 2016, with retail distribution expected to follow in July. Its maker is hoping to raise 260,000 euros (~$291,800) by July 4.

There are other smart pedals for bikes, including Connected Cycle Pedals. But SmartPedals’ safety focus sets it apart. Despite the focus on safety while riding in urban traffic, it has GPS tracking inside the application, which will allow users to track their positions/routes via smartphones. Its maker is also expecting to add a GPS sensor inside the SmartPedal itself to allow the user to track the position of the bike while the SmartPedals are on it, which would enable it to also function as an anti-theft device.



EasyTurn turning signal eliminates doubt while cycling

Both novice and experienced cyclists alike face dangers when riding on roads filled with other cyclists, cars, and trucks — a simple collision always carries the risk of injury or even death. As a result, a cyclist is always responsible for signaling their intentions on the road, especially when turning. However, who’s to say that those on the road can understand such signals, or perhaps even see them in the first place?

The EasyTurn is a brake signal designed to be more visible to others on the road. It accomplishes this via a slanted design that can be seen at wider angles. It sports both left and a right turn signals, as well as an red emergency light that flashes when the product senses that the cyclist is braking abruptly. Cyclists can control the left and right turn signals with a wireless button that can be attached to the handlebar so as to be always within reach. Early birds can grab an EasyTurn for $59, while everyone else can get theirs for $79. An estimated delivery date of July 2015 is listed provided the campaign’s $25,000 goal is funded by April 20.

EasyTurn is compact, easy-to-install, and simple to use piece of safety equipment. Just as important, it’s not terribly expensive. Products similar to EasyTurn include WingLights and 8rlicht, the former of which features minimally designed handlebar-mounted turn signals than can be controlled with simple taps while the latter offers a programmable LED board that hangs off the back of a bike. While WingLights might prove to be worthy competition, 8rlicht may be too complex relative to what EasyTurn provides.